Alappuzha additional sessions court on Friday found the two accused guilty in the case in which two employees were charred to death when the office of a cable operator was set on fire in Thondankulangara near here on May 1, 2000.

The case had gone for a retrial.

The court found Ajayakumar (38) of Kaithavalappil Puthen House, district court ward here and Raja (36) of Nelliparambil Kalarickal house, Arattuvazhi here guilty under sections 302 (murder), 447 (criminal trespassing), 449 (home trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death), 427 (mischief causing damage), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy). The sentence will be pronounced on Monday.

Umesh of Avalukkunnu and Binoy of Palace Ward here were charred to death when the office of Star Tech Networks was set on fire due to the rivalry between two local cable TV operators.

After the first trial held at the same court, the first and second accused in the case were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The court had then pronounced the sentence taking into account circumstantial evidence as all the witnesses had turned hostile during the trial.

However, the accused appealed to the Kerala High Court pointing out that the investigation officer had not provided them with the copy of the statements of witnesses.

The High Court had ordered a retrial seven years after the first verdict by the lower court came.

In the re-trial as many as 30 out of the 82 witnesses in the case reappeared at the court.

Special prosecutor, G. Priyadarshan Thampi and P. V. Thomas appeared for the prosecution.

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