Dalit leader John Pandian was today released from the prison here following the Supreme Court acquitting him in a 17-year-old case in which a man was killed by the jilted lover of his wife in Coimbatore.

On December 3,the Apex court had upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of two persons in the case but acquitted five co-accused, including local Dalit leader John Pandian, for want of sufficient evidence against them.

They were earlier awarded life imprisonment by the trial court following which they had moved the Supreme Court.

John Pandian, who was received by more than 5000 supporters, is the founder of the Devendrakula Velalar Munettra Kazhagam.

The case relates to the murder of Vivek alias Vivekanandan on August 17,1993 on Diwan Bahadur Road near Richy Rich restaurant in Coimbatore.

Key accused Venkataraman committed suicide inside the jail and, consequently, the appeal against him was abated.

Venkataraman was upset with the marriage of Sunita with the victim. He allegedly conspired with others and got the victim eliminated.