A special SC/ST court in Moradabad also slapped a penalty of ₹1.07 lakh each on the seven accused of burning Dalit sisters alive. (Pic for representation only)

A special SC/ST court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to seven people for setting two sisters belonging to the Dalit community on fire in Kothiwal Nagar area of Moradabad in 2010.

The sisters, Gita (22) and Monu (20) were burnt alive on December 18, 2010 by a mob protesting a double murder in which their brother was an accused.

In a 26-page order, special SC/ST court judge Sandhya Choudhury found the seven accused guilty on the basis of evidences produced by additional district government counsel (ADGC) Anand Pal Singh and charged them under the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act.

The court convicted Satish Madan, Sagar Bhandula, Bunty Malik, Asha Sachdeva, Amarjeet Kaur, Vinod Kakkad and Sania Kohli for the incident. The court also imposed a penalty of 1.07 lakh each. The convicts were sent to district jail Moradabad later in the evening.

During the hearing, the defence claimed that there were no eye witnesses of the incident while the ADGC countered that 19 witnesses have appeared before the court and identified the accused.

According to local police, the incident occurred nine days after a 30-year-old woman and her ten-year-old daughter were killed by two men in the same locality on December 9.

The girls’ brother Rakesh was named as one of the accused in the case and he went into hiding soon after.

An angry mob then held a protest outside their house demanding his arrest on December 18. During the protest, the accused entered the house and set it ablaze. Their mother Rajo, managed to save her life. But Gita and Monu were burnt alive, police had said.

Rakesh was later arrested by police.

This story first appeared on hindustantimes.com