Three persons were given death penalty on Tuesday by a special court for killing 28-year-old software engineer Nayana Pujari after abducting and gang-raping her
eight years ago near Pune.

Special Judge L L Yenkar awarded death sentence to the trio - Yogesh Raut, Mahesh Thakur and Vishwas Kadam, a day after convicting them in the eight-year-old sensational gang- rape-cum-murder case. While convicting the three yesterday, the court had let off the fourth accused who had turned approver in the case.

Pujari, who worked at an IT firm in Kharadi was kidnapped on October 7, 2009 evening from Kharadi bypass, while waiting for a transport to return home. Her body was recovered two days later from Zarewadi forest area in Khed tehsil of Pune district.

Yogesh, Mahesh and Vishwas, who were given death penalty on Tuesday had been convicted of seven counts of various offences including those of kidnapping, gang-rape, murder, robbery, misappropriation of property after hatching a criminal conspiracy in furtherance of their common intention. The charges including those of abduction with an aim to commit murder, causing hurt while committing the robbery and the destruction of evidence as the prosecution failed to prove these charges.