May Shweta’s Soul Rest In Peace! Killer Handed Death Sentence By Local Court
The fast track trial for the Shweta Agarwal murder case, which began on March 6, 2018, finally concluded on August 3, 2019. With the local court announcing death sentence for the prime accused Govind Singhal and life imprisonment for his mother, Kamla Devi Singhal and sister, Bhawani Singhal under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC, justice finally prevailed.
On December 4, 2017, the charred body of Shweta Agarwal was recovered from her alleged boyfriend Govind Singhal's house in Shantipur.
Shweta, a brilliant girl with a promising future, was a student of KC Das Commerce College where she was pursuing B Com. She was a meritorious student who made it to the merit list of class 10 examination as well as commerce stream in the higher secondary examination of 2015.
While all else was fine in her life, December 4 turned into a cursed day when she lost her life over a scuffle with Singhal. As per police reports, Govind had taken Shweta to his rented residence on his bike, but in a bitter turn of a scuffle between the two, Govind pushed Shweta hard. Due to the push, her head hit against the wall of the room and she started bleeding uncontrollably.
Clueless and in a fix, Govind decided to conceal the crime. He carried Shweta’s body on a bike to dispose it off in the Bharalu River. However, unable to dispose the body there, he brought it back home for the fear of being caught. He then burned the body inside the bathroom of the house with the help of his sister and mother.
During investigation, Govind Singhal confessed to the murder and explained to the police the pre and post-murder circumstances.
The police submitted the charge sheet against Govind Singhal, his mother, Kamala Devi Singhal and sister, Bhawani Singhal under Section 302/120(B)/201 for murder, conspiracy and destroying evidence.
The Court Proceedings:
The one and a half year long court proceedings in the Shweta Agarwal murder case began soon after her death with the filing of a charge sheet just 2 months 13 days after the incident.
Public prosecutor, Abhijit Bhattacharjee, said that they produced more than 20 witnesses before the court throughout the proceedings which included police officers and doctors to prove that it was a case of murder. On the other hand, the defense was able to produce only three witnesses in court.
"It was clear from the post-mortem examination report that Shweta was attacked with sharp weapons. There were 13 injury marks on her body and the post-mortem report stated that she was burnt alive after the injuries were inflicted on her," Bhattacharya said.
He further added, "We provided a proof before the court that Singhal's mother and sister had helped him in assaulting her and burning her alive as a single person cannot inflict 13 wounds."
Further, it was proved in the court that Agarwal was never in a relationship with Singhal, although a section of the media has alleged it to be. A document of November 16, 2017 in which she said "my answer is no and always is no" proved Singhal's motive for killing her, Bhattacharjee said without explaining what sort of document it was.
On July 30, the fast track court convicted all three accused under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murdering Shweta Agarwal.
Then, on August 3, the quantum of punishment was announced. Sessions Judge Aparesh Chakraborty said, “Singhal killed the woman in a premeditated cold-blooded manner and he has no right to live.”
While the three were sent to the Guwahati Central Jail, the defense counsel said they would move the High Court against the verdict.
Agarwal family’s take on the verdict:
Shweta Agarwal’s family, friends and the masses finally got justice on August 3, Saturday.
After the announcement of the court’s verdict, Shweta’s father, Om Prakash Agarwal broke down in front of the media. “Today my daughter’s soul will rest in peace. I thank the team of policemen and doctors who helped solve the case and the judiciary for ensuring justice,” he said.
Speaking exclusively to G Plus after the verdict, Shweta’s mother, Sunita Agarwal said, “My daughter was the best daughter a mother could have. She never lied to me about anything and always emerged meritorious. She did not deserve such an end. Govind Singhal deserves to be hanged for brutally killing her.”
The mysterious death of Shweta had triggered huge public outcry in the state due to which the case was sent for fast track trial. Her family expressed gratitude towards the people at large who extended their support to the family, especially those who came forward as witnesses.
“All of this wouldn’t have been possible without Investigating Officer (IO) Sudeep Choudhury and the then ADCP Crime Rosie Kalita. Their roles were crucial in winning the case,” informed Shweta’s family members.
Lesser known facts about Shweta Agarwal:
• Shweta was a studious girl who always secured good marks and remained a rank holder all throughout her school and college life.
• She was pursuing Chartered Accountancy (CA) and had cleared the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) as well as Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) on her first attempts.
• She was undergoing articleship at a renowned CA firm in the city where she met Govind Singhal.
• Shweta was always the teacher’s favourite and also loved to help other students with their studies and projects.
• She lived in a joint family with her father Om Prakash Agarwal, mother Sunita Agarwal, brother Bharat Agarwal along with her grandmother (who passed away after Shweta’ s death), uncles, aunts and cousin siblings.
• She had a cupboard filled with awards and certificates, all for her academic achievements, which she loved to show to all family members and friends.
• Shweta was a family-oriented girl, pampered by everyone for being one of the only two girl children in the entire family.