A sessions court in Manipur’s Senapati district has awarded death penalty to a man convicted of murder, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. This is the second death sentence awarded in the state since Independence and the first to a person charged with murder.

Sessions Judge A Noutuneshwari convicted 29-year-old Yumkhaibam Rohit alias Rajesh on Tuesday for murdering his girlfriend. The court also directed State Legal Services Authority to give the victim’s father Rs 10 lakh as compensation within 60 days. “In my considered view, maximum punishment should be awarded and it should be an eye opener for the society at large in order to prevent such brutal and heinous crime in our society,” the judge said.

The court also sentenced 18-year-old Mohammad Faris Shah, Rohit’s accomplice, to life imprisonment, and sent 50-year-old Rehana to prison for three years and jailed Farjina, 23, for six months for intentionally omitting information regarding the murder, The Times of India reported. One person, identified as L Nungchanba, was acquitted.

“As the crime committed by the convicts are so inhumane, barbaric and merciless and their intention and motive were beyond the thoughts of a rational human being, such cruelty deserves to be wiped out and there is no mitigating factor to deter in other alternative punishment,” Noutuneshwari added.

According to the police, the girl befriended Rohit on Facebook in February 2018, and soon they started a relationship. On August 14, they had an argument at Faris’s home in Imphal East district as the girl was reportedly pressuring Rohit to elope with her.

Rohit then hit the girl with a wooden stump and strangulated her with a rope while Faris smothered her. Rohit then smashed the girl’s head and face with a stone several times before fleeing with her ornaments.

The police completed its investigation in a month and submitted the chargesheet on January 15. The court examined and recorded the statement of 28 prosecution witnesses, and completed the trial in a record 20 days.