8888677771 | Saroonagar hate-crime case: accused found guilty on three counts

A special court here on Friday sentenced two persons—Syed Mobin and Mohammed Masood—to undergo life imprisonment in the sensational killing of a Dalit man—B. Nagaraju—near Saroornagar on May 4, 2022.

The judge held the duo guilty on three counts, murder, criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The convicts were punished with life imprisonment and fined ₹1,000 on each count. All the sentences will run concurrently.

Special Sessions Judge for Trial of Offences under SC/ST (PoA) Act-cum-Seventh Additional District and Sessions Judge of Ranga Reddy Mohd. Afroz Akther pronounced the verdict. While observing that the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused beyond all reasonable doubts, the judge, however, noted that the crime did not fall under the ‘rarest of the rare’ category to award death sentence as sought by the prosecution.

Both the accused requested the court to take a lenient view on the quantum of sentence, the judgment said.

The case

Nagaraju and Syeda Ashrin Sultana, younger sister of Mobin, fell in love when they were living in Marpalle mandal of Vikarabad district, 100 km from Hyderabad. Ashrin’s family rejected their marriage proposal and eventually shifted to Balanagar in Hyderabad.

On January 31, 2022, they got married at the Arya Samaj in the Old City of Hyderabad. Ashrin changed her name as Pallavi, as per police records. Ashrin’s family members lodged a complaint with Balanagar police stating that she had gone missing. Through police, they eventually learnt that she married Nagaraju. Mobin nursed a grudge against them, believing that the marriage dented the family’s image.

Having failed to trace the newly wed couple, who had ensured that their address was not known to others, Mobin and his brother-in-law Masood used the ‘Find My Device’ app and tracked the movements of Nagaraju. After some vain attempts to attack him, on the evening of May 4 last year, they intercepted the bike Nagaraju was riding, with Ashrin riding pillion, near GHMC circle office.

Though Ashrin fell on their feet and pleaded that they spare Nagaraju, Mobin smashed his head with an iron road and fled along with Masood. “We connected the accused with the crime with forensic analysis of a video footage showing the duo attacking Nagaraju,” the then L.B. Nagar Assistant Commissioner of Police B. Sridhar Reddy, who had investigated the case, said. He is currently with the special branch.

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