The Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) has sentenced 10 persons to five years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs. 18,000 each for setting a house on fire during the communal riots at the coastal village of Marad in January 2002.

Writing the judgement on Friday the special court judge K.P. Prasannakumari found them guilty under various Sections of the IPC including 436 (mischief by fire or explosives with intent to destroy house) and 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).

According to the prosecution, the accused, Erjuvindakathu Sainudeen, 47; Erjuvindakathu Sali, 37; Thekkappurathu Latheef, 39; Erjuvindakathu Abdul Nazir, 29; Erjuvindakathu Rafi, 37; Nalukudi Parambu Basheer, 38; Kinnatindakathu Askar, 26; Arayanveetil Koyamon, 34; Seemamudakathu Gafoor, 38 and Kinnatindakathu Nizar, 28, had trespassed into the house of Arayachendakathu Veetil Manasa on January 3 and set the house on fire.

The court awarded them five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 436 of IPC; two years rigorous imprisonment under Section 153-A; Rs 3,000 under Section 143 (unlawful assembly) ; Rs 5,000 under Section 148 (rioting); two years rigorous imprisonment and Rs 5,000 under Section 450 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death).

The imprisonment term will run concurrently. However if the accused defaulted in payment of fine they will have to undergone 13 more months in prison.

The court examined 14 witnesses, 25 documents and two material objects. This is the fifth of the numerous cases registered in connection with the communal clashes that took place at Marad on January 3 and 4.

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