A court in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday sentenced to death a 28-year-old auto-rickshaw driver for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl last year.
Rajesh Kumar was found guilty of multiple offences, including raping and murdering the girl at her residence at Vattappara near the capital city of Kerala on March 6, 2012.
According to the charges filed against him, Kumar had entered the victim´s home claiming that his auto-rickshaw had broke down and he needed some water and a screwdriver to repair it.
He then raped the girl, strangled her to death and fled the scene after snatching a gold chain from the victim, who was alone at home at the time.
The girl´s parents welcomed the ruling by Principal Sessions Judge B Sudheendrakumar and expressed hope that it would a be deterrent for similar crimes in the future.
The capital punishment verdict comes at a time when protests continue to churn the nation over the death of a 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped and brutalised with an iron rod on a moving bus in New Delhi last month.