A special court in Thane has sentenced six men to five years imprisonment for abetting the suicide of a girl in 2009.
Special Judge (SC/ST court) G P Shirsat, in an order passed two days back, also imposed a fine of Rs 8,000 on each convict from Kopar Khairane of Navi Mumbai.
The court, however, acquitted two women, giving them benefit of doubt.
Those awarded punishment are: Sandip Shrikant Dhonde (33), Suresh Baban Sanas (49), Rajendra Baban Bhor (51), Vilas Baban Sanas (46), Ratnakar Rambhau Aaute (47) and Kumar Vasant Gole (31).
They were held guilty under the Indian Penal Code Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and a section of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The prosecutor told the court that the victim's mother, in her complaint lodged with the police, said that on May 4, 2009, when she was on her way to the family-owned clothes shop, she spotted some boys throwing stones and mud in the water tank of her house in Kopar Khairane.
She reprimanded the boys and went to the shop.
After she returned home at night, one of the women in the locality picked up a quarrel with her. The accused men also joined in and attacked the woman, her family members, including her children and husband.
They also used "bad words" against the woman over her community, the prosecution said.
Due to the constant harassment and humiliation by the accused, one of the daughters of the woman consumed poison and ended her life, following which the accused were booked and arrested.
As per the prosecution, prior to the May 2009 incident, the woman had also twice complained to the police about some boys in the locality eve-teasing her daughter.
The prosecution told the court that the victim used to constantly ask her parents to change their house and settle somewhere else due to the constant harassment by the people in the locality.
In his order, the judge noted, "From the evidence and circumstances on record it is clear that the six accused assaulted the complainant and others. They intentionally humiliated the woman by abusing her on caste and abetted the suicide of her daughter, besides causing injuries to others."
"The accused persons had been causing physical and mental torture to the complainant and her family members since long and the woman had filed several complaints to various authorities, but they had not taken cognisance in time," the court noted.