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Crime Patrol: Monica murdered due to mistaken identity (Episode 49 on 14th October 2011)

Murder of Engineering Student in Nagpur: Four Accused Sentenced to Rigorous Life Imprisonment

Nagpur city was rocked by the murder of a young engineering student, Monica Kirnapure, on March 11, 2011, due to mistaken identity. Citizens of Nagpur showed rare solidarity in protesting and seeking justice for Monica Kirnapure. The trial of the Monica murder case began after the police filed a charge sheet of 750 pages on June 9, 2011. The case was handled by Government Prosecutor Advocate Ujwal Nikam, who demanded that the accused be hanged to death, while the defense argued that the case was not rarest of the rare.

The accused included Kunal Jaiswal, Pradeep Sahare, Shrikant Sonekar, and Umesh Marathe. Additional Sessions Judge Justice M W Chandwani sentenced the main accused who murdered Monica and the accused who had given supari to kill his former lover and the accused who had aided the accused to rigorous life imprisonment. Two other accused who had aided the accused were acquitted for lack of evidence. Justice M W Chandwani also fined the main accused a sum of Rupees One lakh to be given to the family of the victim and directed the other accused to deposit a sum of Rupees five thousand each. However, the victim's familyexpressed dissatisfaction with the sentence and plans to appeal in the High Court for the accused to be hanged.

Monica's murder was a case of mistaken identity. The assailants, who were given a supari for Rs 1.40 lakhs, had presumed Monica to be another third-year student who was not even her friend. The assailants mistook Monica for the target, Rekha, who was also a student of Shrimati Rajshree Mulak College of Engineering for Women, and the former lover of the mastermind, Kunal Jaiswal, a teacher at an English school in Katol. Jaiswal had become jealous after Rekha had grown close to another youth who was already in a relationship with one of her friends. Along with Jaiswal, his friend Pradeep Sahare too came under suspicion following the scanning of the former's call details. Monica was heading to college when she was brutally stabbed by two people at Shree Nagar in Nandanvan and received 10 stab wounds.

The case received widespread attention due to the senselessness of the crime and the rare solidarity shown by the citizens of Nagpur in protesting and seeking justice for Monica Kirnapure. The verdict sentencing the four accused to rigorous life imprisonment will bring some closure to the victim's family and the citizens of Nagpur, but it is a reminder of the need for justice to prevail in such cases.

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