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Special CBI court convicts Ranchi's 'Nirbhaya' rape-murder accused after swift trial

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New Delhi:  A special CBI court on Friday convicted the main accused in the rape-and-murder case of an engineering student in Ranchi after a swift about a month-long trial, officials said here.

In a big success in almost blind crime which took place three years ago on the fourth anniversary of Delhi's Nirbhaya rape-and-murder, the agency cracked the case using profiles of people in an area to narrow down suspects.

The CBI nailed Rahul Raj, who had absconded after the crime on the night of December 15-16, 2016, and used a number of aliases, using DNA lineage of his parents which matched with the sample found on the victim's body and nails, the officials said.

Officials said Raj is a habitual offender and is accused of a separate sexual assault on a minor girl in Patna and a number of theft cases in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The CBI took over the investigation on March 28, 2018 and managed to crack it open in June this year, arresting Raj from Lucknow, where he was in Jail for a separate crime, they said.

The court framed charges against him in the last week of October and in a swift trial, in which 30 witnesses were examined and cross examined, over 16 working days arrived at a judgement to convict Raj.

The verdict came on a day expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court here for raping a minor girl from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao.

The quantum of sentence for Rahul Raj, a resident of Nalanda in Bihar, by the Ranchi Special court will be pronounced tomorrow.

The gruesome crime in which the victim was raped and burnt by the accused had triggered a public outrage, with students of engineering college in Ormanjhi area of Ranchi, where she was studying, and other colleges protesting against the government.

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