Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: The Special Judicial First Class Magistrate (Marad Cases) here has acquitted eight activists of the defunct National Congress Indira, including K. Muraleedharan and former Thrissur Mayor Jose Kattukaran, in connection with an agitation in front of the Kozhikode Collectorate two years ago.

Magistrate T. Madhusoodanan acquitted the activists, who were charged under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty) read with 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Cases were registered against 16 activists at the Nadakkavu police station. Only eight appeared for trial. The trial of others is still pending, said M. Rajan, advocate who appeared for Mr. Muraleedharan and others. After the incident in July 2005 Mr. Muraleedharan renamed the party as Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) and joined the Congress-led United Democratic Front prior to the Assembly election in May 2006. But after the election the DIC(K) merged with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).