STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 4 September
A city court has awarded death penalty to three men for brutally killing three family members, including a child, with the motive of robbery.
 In the crime committed nearly a decade ago, additional sessions judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau awarded the sentence to Uttar Pradesh residents Surender, Vijay Pal and Virender, while observing that it was a "rarest of rare" case as the three murders were committed in "extremely brutal, diabolical, revolting and dastardly" manner and they have shocked the collective conscience of the society.
 "This act of the convicts in brutally killing the three members of a family including an aged woman and a child, has invited extreme indignation of the community and shocked the collective conscience of the society whose expectation from the authority… is to inflict the death sentence which is only natural and logical… This court cannot ignore the loud cry for justice by the society in this case involving heinous crime of murder," said the court.  The prosecution’s case is that in a house in Rohini when the three accused murdered 54-year-old Mridula Kishore, her 28-year-old son Rajesh Kishore and her nine-year-old grandson Ankit.
 "The accused were known to the family as Surender belonged to Mridula’s village and the other two men were his relatives… On the afternoon of 5 February, 2004, the three accused went to the victims’ house and had lunch there. Thereafter, they killed the victims by slashing their necks and strangulating them," said the police. It added that after murdering them, the accused took away jewellery and Rs one lakh cash from the house.
 During investigation, Mridula’s husband suspected Surender for the offence as on the day of incident the accused had come to their house. The trio were later on arrested.
 The court noted that due to the trauma, the minor’s father became mentally disturbed and has been undergoing treatment at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.  The family also had to sell their house as they were boycotted by the neighbours after the incident.  The court said the enormity of the crime is such that it had destroyed three generations of a family at one go and a happy family lost to the treachery of those whom they considered their own.  "It is this act of treachery played by the convicts which leads me to conclude that they are beyond reformation," said the court.