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A year on, family waits for justice, compensation

Brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Upper Shillong girl

SHILLONG: A year ago, people lit candles in protest against the brutal rape and murder of the 19-year-old girl from Upper Shillong, but now the family alone has to cope with the sorrow as justice is still a far cry.
While for mother Wantina Kharrymba and the victim’s brother, it is a long wait for the compensation package, justice is still elusive as there is slow trial coupled with change of courts.
The first death anniversary of the girl was observed at her residence with prayers and tears on Friday.
“Though we had applied for the victim’s compensation package long time back, we are yet to get the amount,” the mother of the victim told this reporter during the visit to the residence on Friday.
It was on March 17 last year that the incident took place and a few days later, the accused identified as Vicky Syiemlieh was arrested after his mother handed over the son to the police.
The accused confessed his involvement in the crime to the mother.
The mother of the victim also said that the court should not grant bail to the accused who is still in judicial custody. Earlier, his bail applications were rejected by the court at least four times. The mother also does not believe that the accused was the only one behind the crime.
“We doubt that more people are involved in the crime and police should investigate into the matter,” the mother added.
The incident took place when the girl went missing on the evening of March 17 last year after she finished cutting vegetables at her house. This prompted the family to search for her. The girl was later found inside a jungle close to her residence in the wee hours on March 18. She had multiple injuries and was shifted to the Civil Hospital where she was declared brought dead.
The police had filed charge sheet in the case in June last year.
In October last year, charges were framed by the court of additional deputy commissioner (Judicial) E. Kharmnuid against the accused under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 201 (destruction of evidence).  As many as 39 witnesses have been listed for examination by the court.
Later, the case was transferred to district council court. According to an official source, though in April last, Additional Advocate General W.H.D Syngkon was appointed as the Special Prosecutor, he fell ill resulting in Government entrusting the case to I.C Jha as the special public prosecutor to pursue the case.
However, recently after his treatment, the case was again handed over to Syngkon, the source added.  The transfer of the case to district council court and the change of special public prosecutors have delayed the trial.

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