Chennai | Nine months after the sensational murder of a 24-year old woman IT employee by three migrant workers near her office on the city outskirts, a court in nearby Chengalpet today sentenced them to life imprisonment.
Mahila Court Judge S Ananthi pronounced all the three accused — Ram Mandal, Utam Mandal and Ujjal Mandal of West Bengal — guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment for murdering Uma Maheswari, employed with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in February last, a CB-CID release said.
The murder brought to sharp focus safety issues concerning women IT employees, especially those leaving office in late hours, and prompted software companies to clamp preventive measures, including mandatory use of office vehicle for those working beyond 8 PM.
The woman’s decomposed body was found at the SPICOT IT Park in Siruseri on February 22, nine days after she went missing. As the murder sent shock waves among IT professionals, the investigation into the case was transferred to Crime Branch CID on the orders of the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
During the probe, it was revealed that the three persons attempted to make use of the victim’s ATM card. Later, Ram Mandal and Utam Mandal here arrested and they allegedly confessed to their crime. Their interrogation led to the arrest of Ujjal Mandal, who had left for Kolkata by train.
At the time of the arrests, police had said the woman was waylaid, dragged into a nearby bush and assaulted by the accused when she was walking on a footpath to the main road, which was about one km from the IT park campus.
The CCTV footage of the ATM and sample CCTV footage were sent to FSL, Gujarat and Mandal was identified in both the footages through his physical structure, height, etc.
During the course of trial, 51 prosecution witnesses were examined, 119 exhibits and 61 material objects were marked and the bail petitions of the accused were denied by the courts, the release said.