A local court in West Bengal’s Purulia district has handed the death penalty to two convicts in the 2017 needle murder case wherein a three-year-old girl was subjected to physical and sexual torture. The victim’s mother and her lover - Sanatan Thakur - were sentenced to death on Tuesday after the trial went on for four years. The three-year-old had died during treatment in July 2017 when the doctors discovered seven needles inside her body.
The couple decided to kill the girl as they considered her an “obstacle to their relationship”, The Indian Express reported. The three-year-old was also “sexually tortured” at the hands of the couple who, according to police, believed in superstition.
Doctors had extracted seven four-inch needles from her body, including her private parts. Police suspected the needles were inserted as part of “Tantric rituals” by the woman’s lover.
A fast-track court in Purulia on Saturday held the victim’s mother and her lover guilty of hatching a conspiracy to kill the three-year-old. The court was scheduled to announce its verdict on Monday but deferred for a day on the request of the prosecutor, who pleaded before the court for the death penalty to convicts as they executed a “brutal and rare crime”.
On July 11, 2017, the woman admitted her daughter to a hospital claiming she had a fever, cold and cough. The doctors, however, spotted scratch marks and multiple wounds along with bloodstains on her body.
When a medical panel was formed to ascertain the cause of the wounds, the doctors performed an X-ray on the victim and were shocked to find seven needles inserted inside her body. The girl was then shifted to a hospital in Kolkata where she died during treatment on July 21, 2017.