Junior artists, Jaiswal and his girlfriend Priti abducted Thapa in a bid to extort money from her.
Mumbai: A sessions court on Friday awarded life sentence to Amit Jaiswal, lawyer-cum-junior artist and his girlfriend and junior artist, Priti Sunrin, for the 2012 murder of aspiring actress, Meenakshi Thapa.
Although special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had sought capital punishment for the convicted duo, sessions judge S.G. Shette observed that the case did not fall under the category of “rarest of rare” and sentenced them to imprisonment for life instead.
According to the prosecution, the duo abducted Ms Thapa in a bid to extort money from her family as she had told them that she belonged to a rich Nepali family and that acting was her hobby. In reality however, she came from a middle-class family where her father used to work with ONGC.
According to the Mumbai crime branch, the duo took Ms Thapa to Gorakhpur on the pretext of some work and allegedly beheaded her as her mother was able to arrange only `60,000 out of the `15 lakh demanded by them. Ms Thapa’s head was thrown out of a running bus and could not be recovered by the crime branch officials.
Her body was found inside a water tank and could be identified only through some burn injury marks and forensic tests including a DNA test. According to advocate Nikam, after the abduction, Jaiswal and Sunrin withdrew `46,000 from Ms Thapa’s bank account by using her debit card.
The victim had worked in few films, including Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, where she met Jaiwal and his girlfriend.
There was no eyewitness to the crime and the prosecution was able to prove the case with the help of testimony of 36 witnesses.