SC sends 5 CPM men to jail for attack; acquits them of murder

SC sends 5 CPM men to jail for attack; acquits them of murder

 The Supreme Court has held five people belonging to CPI (Marxist) guilty of attacking a BJP worker, resulting in his death, in Thrissur in 1993. The court, however, acquitted them of murder charges.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao awarded Majeed, Ummer alias Podi Ummer, Balaji, Muraleedharan and Hasheem alias Muhammed Hasheem seven years’ imprisonment after convicting them for voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon and unlawful assembly.

“The common object of the members of the unlawful assembly was to attack any BJP supporter who was passing through Ottappilavu junction. Unfortunately, Suresh Babu was in the bus and he was killed in the attack,” the bench said after going through the evidence on record.

The court also noted that deceased Suresh Babu and the accused belonged to two political parties opposed to each other and there were three other incidents of clashes between the rival groups.

“The existence of a CPI(M) office at Ottappilavu junction is proved by a sketch of the site of the incident. The accused along with others assembled and were searching for BJP workers travelling in the buses that were passing through the junction,” Justice Rao wrote in the judgement on behalf of the bench.

Justice Bobde authored a separate but concurring verdict in which he found Ummer had failed to prove contrary to the evidence that he participated in the unlawful assembly which resulted in the death of Suresh Babu.

The court, however, exonerated all the five accused of the murder charge after noting that they attacked Suresh Babu with sticks causing simple injuries on non-vital parts.

The appeal filed by the victim's father against the acquittal of 11 other accused was dismissed. Out of 21 accused in the case, four, including the prime suspect, had died during the proceedings, while one remained absconding.

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