Chandigarh: A fast-track court in Haryana’s Faridabad on Wednesday convicted two men in connection with the murder of Nikita Tomar, five months after she was shot outside her college in a crime caught on camera.
Prime accused Tausif and another man, Rehan, were held guilty and a third accused Azharuddin acquitted in the case, defence counsel Adal Singh Rawat said.
Faridabad Additional District and Sessions Judge Sartaj Baswana’s court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Friday, defence counsel P L Goyal said.
Tomar was killed in Ballabhgarh in Faridabad district on October 26 by Tausif, who had been pressuring her to marry him, police had then said.
As the murder triggered outrage, Home Minister Anil Vij linked it with love jihad , a reference to right-wing allegations that love affairs and marriages are being used to fraudulently convert Hindu women.
In his reply to a calling attention motion on the murder, he told the state assembly said the government was planning to bring a Bill to tackle “love jihad”.
The final-year B.Com student had stepped out of her college after an exam when Tausif confronted her, trying to force her into a car, police had said.
The two accused were later arrested on the basis of CCTV footage of the crime. The Faridabad police filed a 700-page chargesheet before the court on November 6, less than two weeks after the murder
The trial began on December 1 and final arguments in the case ended on Tuesday.
Reacting to the verdict, victim’s father Moolchand Tomar said, We have full faith in our judicial system and we are hopeful that Nikita will get justice.
He said the family has been demanding capital punishment for the accused.
There should be a strong deterrence so that no one else will dare to commit such a crime in future, he said.
We want the culprits hanged. Nikita sacrificed her life against love jihad, he said.
Tomar said his daughter was a young woman who had big dreams. She wanted to dedicate her life to the service of her country. But her dreams were cut short.
The two men have been convicted under sections 302 (murder), 366 (kidnapping a woman to compel her into marriage) and 120-B/34 (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Tausif was also held guilty under the Arms Act.
Azharuddin, who has been acquitted, was arrested on charges of supplying the illicit gun used in the crime.