Praveen Kumar killed four persons in Vamanjoor in 1994

The Supreme Court’s decision to commute death sentence to life imprisonment of Praveen Kumar Sappaliga, convicted for murder of four persons in Vamanjoor, near Mangalore, has come as shock to the family of the victims.

“For no fault of us, the apex court commuted death sentence of Praveen Kumar to life imprisonment. This is nothing but injustice to us,” said Seetharam Gurupur, eldest son of Appi Sergarti, who was one of the four persons murdered by Praveen Sappaliga in Ms. Appi’s house in Vamajoor of February 23, 1994. The other persons who were murdered are Mr. Seethram younger brother Govind, his sister Shakuntala and her 10-year-old daughter Deepika.

“The incident literally shattered our family. It pains everyday remembering the tragedy. We spent a lot from our pocket to ensure that the case ends in conviction. We left our occupation and focused on the case. We were happy when the apex court had in its earlier judgment upheld lower court’s decision to impose death penalty,” Mr. Seetharam said.

Praveen Kumar has been among those who filed mercy petitions before the President, who had rejected the same on April 5.

Praveen and other convicts whose mercy petitions had been rejected had challenged it before the Supreme Court questioning the delay in considering the mercy petitions.

Mr. Seetharam said suffering of the victims of the crime was ignored.

“We did file petition before the President after we got to know about Praveen Kumar’s mercy petition. We asked the President to quickly take a decision. But there was no response. Commuting death sentence to life imprisonment is a severe setback to what we fought for,” Mr. Seetharam said.

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