A 26-year-old man has been awarded life imprisonment by a court here in Maharashtra for killing a shopkeeper in 2013 over a petty dispute. According to the prosecution, the accused, Ganesh Raut, who worked as a labourer, went to a grocery shop in Lokmanya Nagar area here on June 21, 2013 and asked for a pack of cigarettes. When the shopkeeper, Gopal Pande (52), asked him for the money, Raut got annoyed and beat him up. Pande then filed a police complaint against Raut, who was arrested and later released on bail. On November 12, 2013, Pande's son was managing the shop when Raut came there with a blood-stained spade in his hand. Raut informed Pande's son that "he had killed his father". The accused also threatened Pande's son, beat him up and fled, the prosecution told the court.
Pande's son later found his father lying severely injured at some distance from the shop. He rushed his father to a hospital where the latter died during treatment. District Judge P P Jadhav said the accused himself made an extra-judicial confession by admitting that he had assaulted Pande. Jadhav also noted that the witnesses, who deposed specifically mentioned about the previous incident where Raut had assaulted Pande and the case filed by the deceased against the accused. "Thus, the motive behind the offence and involvement of the accused are proved beyond reasonable doubt," the judge said while pronouncing the sentence recently.