Shivani murder case : Cop, three others get lifer

New Delhi, March 24:

An Indian court today sentenced a senior police officer and three other people to life in prison in the murder of a female journalist nine years ago, the prosecutor said.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Kumar Shastri also fined police officer RK Sharma 20,000 rupees and the three others 10,000 rupees each, said prosecutor Manisha Sharma.

The judge accepted the prosecution’s contention that Shivani Bhatnagar, the reporter, had an intimate relationship with police officer RK Sharma, who wanted to end the affair because she threatened to expose it.

Bhatnagar worked as reporter for the New Delhi-based Indian Express newspaper and was killed by two visitors to her home in the Indian capital in 1999. Prosecutors said she was strangled with an electrical wire and was repeatedly stabbed with a kitchen knife.

There was strong circumstantial evidence that Sharma, a 54-year-old inspector-general

of police, was the main conspirator and that government clerk Pradeep Sharma killed

the journalist, the judge said in finding the four guilty of murdering Bhatnagar.