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Nitish Katara murder convicts get 25 years in jail [Representational Image]pixabay

Nitish Katara's abductors and murder convicts, Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal, were given 25 years sentence by the Supreme Court on Monday. Their accomplice Sukhdev Pehalwan was given 20 years.

The convicts had appealed in the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order from February 2015, which sentenced Vikas and Vishal to 25 years in jail without remission and Pehelwan to 20 years, with an additional five years each for destruction of evidence.

The apex court said that the jail terms will be running concurrently and not consecutively.

"We wanted the death sentence, but am happy that the court acknowledged that this was not normal murder but an honour killing by rich people drunk on power," Neelam Katara said, adding, "Of course I wish they had got 10 years more. The evidence they destroyed was my son's body, not a pair of slippers."

Nitish, who was in a relationship with Bharti Yadav, the daughter of politician DP Yadav, was abducted and murdered in 2002 by the cousins. The family had been against their relationship and had threatened Nitish multiple times.

He was abducted by the two brothers while Nitish was at a wedding. He had been missing for three days after which his body was discovered in a charred condition. He had been hammered to death and then burnt. His identity was established after his parents' DNA was taken.

The high court in 2015 had said that the murder was an "honour killing" and labelled the crime "rarest of rare category." Hence, they were given a 25-year jail term whereas a normal life term lasts 14 years. The court, however, did not award a death sentence, which Neelam Katara had appealed for. The court had said there was possibility of their reformation and rehabilitation. The apex court had also upheld the conviction by the high court.

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