An Indian court has handed down the harshest sentence available short of the death penalty over the brutal murder of a gay man by his lover.
In April of 2006 the killer, named only as ‘Sanju’ by the Times of India, took his partner V Vibeesh Kumar to a cashew plantation near Thalassery in Kerala state on the Malabar Coast.
There he apparently blindfolded Kumar and tied his arms and legs before having sex with him and then slashing his throat and mutilating his genitals.
Local Thalassery police determined that the victim had had sex with another man shortly before his murder via post mortem and followed a line of inquiry as to whether the man’s lover had been the killer.
Sanju sent a pamphlet from an extremist group to Kumar’s family home to try to throw the investigation off his trail by implying it had been a Taliban style killing.
However the police were not deterred and eventually identified Sanju as the murder victim’s boyfriend.
Sanju confessed to the killing under interrogation by the local police who then handed the case to the crime branch who confirmed the results of their investigation.
Kerala district court judge E C Harigovidan handed down the life sentence on Wednesday along with fines of 110,000 rupees ($US1650/£1100/€1500) to go to the victim’s father, and three years hard labor.
India’s court system is notoriously slow but appears unclear why the case took so long to come to a close in this case.
India retains the death penalty but has only carried out 26 executions since 1991.