Berhampur, June 20 (LocalWire): Twelve years after the murder of Maheswar Sasmal in his village, the additional district and session judge, here on Wednesday, sentenced 18 persons to life imprisonment for lynching.
The 40-year old man from Phulta at the outskirt of Berhampur in Ganjam district was murdered by a mob using a sharp weapon on 12 May 2007 and the police had filed a charge sheet against 19 people in the case.
The additional district and sessions judge Sanjay Kumar Sahoo held all 19 accused persons guilty under various sections of the IPC for the murder and barring one of the accused, Santosh Sasmal, who died during the trial, the court has sentenced life imprisonment to all other 18 accused persons.
According to the associate public prosecutor Anil Sahu, the court has also slapped a fine of Rs 7,000 on each of the accused and directed that Rs one lakh from the fine amount be paid to the wife of the deceased Laxmi Sasmal as compensation under section 357 (I) of the CrPC.
The 18 person handed life sentence include Santosh Kumar Sahu, Gopinanth Pradhan, Tuna Pradhan, Golak Kumar Pradhan, Sudam Sasmal, Benu Pradhan, Anand Nahak, Fakir Sasmal, Biswambar Sasmal, Niranjan Martha, Anam Nahak, Bijay Pradhan, Tuna Sasmal, Bhaiga Sasmal, Bhaiga Pradhan, Ladu Sasmal, Padma Sasmal and Krushna Pradhan, all from Phulta.
The court pronounced its verdict after examining and recording the statement of 15 witnesses in the case.
One of the advocates of the accused persons said they would appeal against the verdict in the high court.
“We will go to the high court against the verdict of the lower court,” said Sishir Padhy, lawyer of the deceased persons.
According to the sources, a group of people led by Santosh Kumar Sahu, president of the Shanti Committee, had brutally attacked Maheswar for his alleged role in different anti-social activities. Local had set up the Shanti Committee to curb the sale of liquor and anti-social activities.