Marad First Riot – Jihadis Acquitted

published on September 24, 2010

Marad murder: Court acquits all accused
VR Jayaraj | Kozhikode – Daily Pioneer

The Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad cases), Kozhikode on Thursday acquitted all the 16 accused in the case relating to the murder of Hindu fisherman Thekkethodi Kunjumon at Marad, a fishing village near Beypore harbour.

The case was that a group of assailants hacked Kunjumon to death on the night of January 3, 2002 during communal unrest in the fishing village, known as the Marad One riots. Two Hindus and three Muslims were killed in the riots which led to a massacre in Marad in May, 2003, in which eight Hindus were killed.

Special Judge Sophie Thomas acquitted the 16 accused, all Muslims, after the Prosecution failed to prove the charges against them. Seven of the accused are already undergoing life imprisonment – three in the Thekkethodi Shimjith murder case and four in cases related to the Marad Two riots of 2003.

This was the fourth of the five murder cases and one of the total 76 cases related to the Marad One riots. The judge examined 24 witnesses but their depositions were said to be weak. The prosecution said various factors could have led to the acquittal but added that there were some lapses in the investigation of the case.

Those acquitted by the Special Judge were Seemamundakathu Ashraf, Noufal, Thajuddin, Gafoor, Manaf, Sihabuddin, Koyamon, Shihabuddin, Erjuvintakath Sainuddin, Zakir, Kabir, Hanifa, Sadiq, Nalukudiparabu Manaf, Moideen Koya and Latheef.

The Marad special court had in June sentenced seven to life imprisonment for the murder of 17-year-old Hindu boy Shimjith in during the Marad One riots. It had also sentenced nine accused to five-year prison term in the same case. Shimjith was killed on January 3, 2003 during an attack on the house of Pushparajan of Thekkethodi, an activist of Hindu fishermen’s Araya Samajam outfit, by a group of 35 men.

The others who lost lives in the Marad One riots were Pallithodi Yunus, Kunjikoya and Aboobacker. Eighty houses, belonging to people from both communities, came under arson and looting. Twenty-one houses were gutted and 42 partially damaged in the fire. Two country boats and seven motor-driven fibre boats were set ablaze.

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