Hindu Carnage in Maradu : Punishments to Jihadi’s today

published on January 14, 2009



Marad: Punishments to be awarded today

PNS | Kozhikode

A
Special Court here will on Thursday award the punishments to the 63
convicted persons in the case relating to the massacre in Maradu, a
fishing hamlet near the small harbour town of Beypore, Kozhikode, in
which eight Hindus were chopped and hacked to death by a huge gang of
assailants on the night of May 2, 2003. A Muslim had also died in the
carnage.

Special Judge Babu Mathew P Joseph had on December 27
declared 63 of the total 139 accused as guilty of crime. Sixty-two of
them were found guilty of on various charges including Section 302 of
the Indian Penal Code for homicide, 307 for attempt to homicide,
unlawful assembly, causing riots under Sections 147, 148 and 149,
inflicting injury using weapons, causing riots by inciting religious
hatred, etc.

Accused number 139, Latheef, who was the
secretary of Marad Mosque committee during the time of incident, was
found guilty of misusing places of worship under the Religious
Institutions Misuse (Prevention) Act. However, legal experts said that
Lateef could be released on Thursday as he had already undergone five
years imprisonment which was said to be the maximum likely punishment
for that crime.

Sources in the Special Court said all
preparations had been completed on Tuesday itself for announcing the
punishments for the convicted persons. After issuing the verdict in the
case on December 27, the judge had heard the response from those who
were convicted, the arguments of the Prosecution and the
counter-arguments from the defence counsels.

The judge had
asked the police and prison authorities to present all the 63 convicted
persons in the court on Thursday. Sources said that they believed
sentence to be awarded to all those found guilty could be announced on
Thursday itself.

The Prosecution during the trial-on-sentence
stage had requested the court to grant maximum possible punishment to
the accused to the convicted, especially 14 of them, who had been
involved in the murder of two or more.

The judge, who on
December 27, acquitted 73 of the 139 accused for want of evidences,
said the Prosecution had failed to prove the most cardinal allegation
about conspiracy behind the massacre under Section 120 (B) of the
Indian Penal Code. The Prosecution’s allegations against the accused
under Explosives Act and the Arms Act also were also found
insufficient. The Prosecution had charged cases under 47 sections of
the Indian Penal Code against the accused.

The State police’s
Crime Branch had at the end of a three-month probe into the massacre,
which pushed Marad and adjoining areas into the whirlpool of panic and
perpetual communal tension, listed 150 as accused and the final list
contained 139. While the Prosecution had expressed satisfaction in the
judgement, counsels of the accused had said they would approach the
High Court with appeals.

A Muslim named Asghar Ali was also
killed in the incident of May 2, 2003 night, but he was arrayed as an
accused as he had been among the group of the killers. Two of the
accused had during the trial period escaped to overseas and a case
against the police was on regarding how they had got passports.

In
the process of the case, the court had examined 5,500 pages of
depositions by witnesses. Altogether there were 222 witnesses from the
prosecution side and seven for the defendants. The court had examined
seven witnesses it had found on its own. It had also examined 778
exhibits submitted by the prosecution and 57 exhibits produced by the
defense counsels.

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