The Dharwad bench of the Karnataka high court in sensational Sheetal Chougule rape and murder case has acquitted all five accused in view of no strong evidence against the accused was found.
The Fifth additional sessions court had pronounced Ravindra Chougule, deceased Sheetals husband and four others guilty of conspiring and killing Sheetal. All the five have been found guilty under IPC 302 and now all are waiting for the quantum of punishment.
This decision was challenged in the high court and eventually all 5 have been acquitted.
It may be recalled that in August 2007, Sheetal Chougule was raped and then subsequently killed by supari killers on the directions of her own husband Ravindra it was alleged.
Sheetal’s murder then had awaken the entire city and there was also a bandh observed so that the police act on and arrest the culprits.
History of the case as then presented by the police in 2007 –
Ravindra Chougule husband of Sheetal paid Pravin Shintre ‘supari’ of Rs 4 lakh for the murder and Ravindra took Sheetal, who was a mother of three to Belgaum for shopping on August 11 and asked her to alight at Ganeshpur. He then took her to house and left her there on the pretext of some work. What happened next is something that a woman dreads of.
The five-member gang raped her continuously for many hours, strangled her to death and dumped her body. Ravindra himself lodged a complaint stating that his wife was missing. All this was done so that Ravindra could marry his new love Reena Tahsildar. After the murder the body was found at Kavle Nala near Khanapur.
Praveen Shintre was subsequently killed in an encounter later.