Those body parts are incidental, not murdered. Not a human being.
Maria was caught between two men fighting; Jerome was angry and jealous. It was not pre-meditated. So? Isn't there some background? I had recently put forth some of it in the second part of a piece.
Here is part of Maria’s confession which the judges relied on:
She knew Neeraj Grover. He called and wanted to come over. She said, no. He landed up. She took him in. Jerome called at 11.30. Her phone battery died, so he called on Neeraj’s number. Neeraj asked to stay the night there. At 7.30 am, Jerome appeared. Neeraj had woken up. The two men fought and Jerome started hitting Neeraj and then he got a knife and stabbed him. She tried to stop him but he shut her mouth. Then in her words:
He threw me on the bed and raped me. He never put the knife down. This was at about 8 am. He also beat me and threatened me not to tell anyone about the incident. I told Emile to take Neeraj to a hospital. He said Neeraj would not die for 4 to 5 hours. He asked me to go into the bathroom and take a bath and he again raped me.
How can a man hold a knife and rape a woman? After the first incident, could she not raise an alarm? A kitchen knife cannot do so much harm. Besides, did her lawyer not say that she was a virgin?
After 11 am, Emile dragged the body of Neeraj into the bathroom. Then he told me to purchase bags, curtains, a knife and some room freshener. While I was buying these things, Emile was constantly on the phone with me. When I came back to my house, I handed over the knife to him. He asked me not to come into the bathroom and to instead clean the hall, which was blood-stained.
What does the judgment state?
When he took the flight from Cochin suddenly and without permission (from the navy) Jerome did not have intention (to kill) till he landed at Maria’s house. He had the intention to kill thereafter.
Jerome called on Grover’s phone. Jerome was nervous and upset after that. Jerome booked his ticket on May 6, 2008 at 11pm
Obviously, for the fiancé, a situation where he finds this young boy with his fiancée, he is bound to get upset. He lost his control.
During scuffle he took the knife from the kitchen and stabbed deceased Neeraj Grover. The accused was provoked by the circumstances.
What were the circumstances? Losing control? Maria had already told him about Grover, he had dialled on his phone to talk to her. She let him stay at his place. Nowhere is there any accusation that Neeraj forced himself on her. In fact, she did not get what she wanted from him by way of her career aspirations.
If this judgment is to set a precedent, it would mean jealous lovers/spouses can kill anyone they suspect including their partners. Partners assisting them to get rid of evidence spend only three years in jail and that includes the time of the trial.
There is no RIP for Neeraj Grover. Or the 300 pieces of him.
I am upset by the Times of India illustration because it shows a smiling Grover, as though he seemed to have gone happily or asked for it. I know it is unintentional but a little sensitivity is called for. By reproducing it here, I realise I too can be accused of the same. I am trying to make a point and clarifying it, so do excuse. TOI's reportage has been extensive, though, and I have relied on it here.
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Updated on July 2, 7.22 pm:
The audacity of hopelessness is getting blatant. The judge has ordered Maria Susairaj to pay Rs. 50,000 and Emile Jerome Rs. 1 lakh to Neeraj Grover’s parents as fine. If a person dies in an accident on a public transport, the state compensates. Why insult Grover's family with this paltry amount? Is this what justice is about?
Jerome had the guts to ask the judge to reduce his 10-year sentence. Maria Susairaj had nothing to say because she has not been proven not guilty. Sure. She is concerned about the taint. She need not worry. Film-maker ram Gopal Verma who has already made a film on the case and released the first cut with well-timed precision now wants to cast her:
“Yes, I would want to take her in my next film, if she is willing. Sometimes, it is not really just about acting. It is the combination of popularity, curiosity etc. And I am sure with the kind of life that she has led behind bars, she must have emotionally matured enough to be a decent actress.”
This is sick. She was acting well enough for the past three years before the courts. Why does he not cast prisoners of war, suspected terrorists, pickpockets and rapists? Let it be made amply clear that both these characters have killed a man. It would be pathetic if Maria realises her career ambitions after being part of a murder to get that blasted career going.