A Kerala Sessions Court on Tuesday found the accused labourer, guilty in 30-year-old Jisha rape and murder case which was in focus during the campaign for the Kerala Assembly elections last year.
Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court had on December 6 completed the hearing in the case and pronounced the judgement today.
Muhammed Ameerul Islam, a migrant labourer from Assam and the lone accused in the case, has been charged with brutally raping and murdering the 30-year old woman, a law student, at nearby Perumbavoor on April 28, 2016.
He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules.
As many as 100 witnesses were examined during the trial which commenced in April last. The prosecution has described it as a rarest of rare case.
Islam, who had left Perumbavoor soon after allegedly committing the crime, was arrested from Kancheepuram in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, 50 days after the gruesome incident.
Jisha, a Dalit woman, who hailed from a poor family, was raped and brutally assaulted using sharp-edged weapons before being murdered at her house.
The incident was in focus during the state assembly polls campaign last year with political parties attacking the then Congress-led UDF regime for tardy progress in the probe and failure to nab culprits.
The LDF government, after assuming power on May 25 last year, changed the investigation team and entrusted the probe to ADGP B Sandhya in its first cabinet meeting itself.
More than 100 police personnel had questioned over 1,500 people. Finger prints of over 5,000 people were also examined by the SIT personnel who went through over 20 lakh telephonic conversations before reaching Islam.
Police have said a blood stained footwear found from a canal near the victim’s house was one of the key evidence in identifying the culprit.
(With PTI Inputs)