Court sentences couple to life term in rape-murder case

Balasore: A local court today sentenced a couple to life imprisonment after convicting them in a case of rape and murder of a 23-year old girl in the state’s Balasore district in 2009.

District judge Satyanarayan Mishra convicted Kalandi Das (45) and his wife Labanya Das (40) for murdering Swayamlata Dalei (23) of the same village on November 13, 2009.

Kalandi was given life term on the murder charge and an additional 10 years rigorous imprisonment for raping the woman and slapped with a fine of Rs 5,000. In case of default in payment, he would undergo an additional two years imprisonment.

His wife Labanya was awarded life sentence for assisting her husband in the murder.

The court gave the order based on the statements of 18 witnesses.

On November 13, 2009 afternoon, the victim had gone to a nearby half-constructed temple to fetch drinking water little knowing that Kalandi was waiting for her, the prosecution said. The convict, who was married, raped and strangulated her in order to conceal evidence.

Labanya, his wife, instead of resisting her husband, helped him in killing the woman, according to the prosecution.