Ten persons have been convicted in the case of a setting a house ablaze during the communal riots at the seaside village of Marad in January 2002.

The Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) judge K.P. Prasannakumari here on Thursday found that 10 persons, all of them hailing from Marad, accused for setting fire the house of Arayachendakathu Veetil Manasa on January 3. The sentence will be pronounced on Friday.

Those found guilty are 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.

According to the prosecution, the 10-member group trespassed into the house of Manasa, destroyed the household furniture and utensils and set the house on fire.

The Beypore police which registered the case charged the accused under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 436 (mischief by fire or explosives with intent to destroy house) and Section 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) and 143 (unlawful assembly).

The accused were also charged 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and 450 (house-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death) of the IPC.

The special court examined 14 witnesses, 25 documents and two material objects. This is the fifth of the numerous cases registered in connection with a communal conflagration on January 3 and 4, 2002.

Five persons were killed and several persons injured in the communal riots at Marad in January 2002.

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