5 get lifer for murder

Munna Sharma (35), Raj alias Maqsood Ahmad (31), Ram Paramesh (29), Lahari (32), and Saleem Shah (27), all from Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh, had hired a Sports Utility Vehicle from a car rental firm on Tank Bund Road on July 14, 2003 to attend a funeral in Nagpur. Company owner Maqsood Ahmed agreed to drive for them.

Two weeks later on July 27, when Ahmed didn't return and the customers could not be traced, Ahmed’s brother Mansoor lodged a missing complaint with the Upparpet police station.

During the investigation, Fazlullah Khan, a worker in Ahmed's firm, told the police that Maqsood Ahmed had called him on July 18 saying that his customers were forcing him to take them to Uttar Pradesh. Ahmed also said that they were plotting to rob the car from him, Khan told police.

Following this, the police booked a case under Section 364 (kidnapping to murder) of the IPC. Less than a month later on August 16, the police arrested the prime accused Munna who spilled the beans. He told the police that from Nagpur, they went to Gorakhpur where they murdered Ahmed and fled with the vehicle. Later, the police also arrested the other accused.

A charge sheet was filed before the ninth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate after collecting eye witness accounts. The case was later transferred to the 15th FTC which slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 on each accused. Salim Pasha died in the during the pendency, police added.

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