Three men convicted of rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in the western Indian state of Maharashtra last year have been given the death sentence by a special court on Wednesday (29 November).

Jitendra Shinde, 25, Santosh Bhaval, 36, and Nitin Bhailume, 26, were convicted by additional special judge Suvarna Kevale at the sessions court in Ahmednagar. The incident had sparked widespread outrage and protests in the state.

The case:

The incident took place on 13 July, 2016 when the 15-year-old girl was returning home after meeting her grandfather.

The main accused Shinde accosted her and brutally tortured and raped her. He later called his friends who dragged her to an isolated spot and murdered her, the Hindustan Times reported.

When police recovered the body of the victim, it showed signs of brutal assault with her limbs broken, hair pulled out, and bite marks all over her body.

After the horrifying incident came to light, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that a fast-track court would hear the case.

The state government also announced financial aid of Rs 500,000 ($7771.820, £5791.65) for the victim's family.

Police arrested the three men soon after the incident. On 7 October, 2017, the Ahmednagar police charged the trio with rape and murder.

On 21 November, judge Kevale pronounced all the three guilty and on 29 November, they were given the death sentence.

In a similar incident, four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case were given the death penalty. The brutal incident had shaken the entire nation.