For setting ablaze the house of a woman
The Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) here has sentenced five persons to five years' rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 each for setting ablaze the house of a woman during the communal riots at the seaside village of Marad in January 2002.
Pronouncing the judgment on Wednesday, judge Sophy Thomas found Abbas Thekkepurathu, 48; Thalakkalathu Shafi, 33; Thekkepurathu Mohammedali, 53; Seemamundakathu Kasmi, 42; and Seemamundakathu Ali Koya, 43; all hailing from Marad, guilty of setting on fire the house of Thekkethodi Nalini at 7.15 p.m. on January 3.
There were 16 accused in the case. The court set free 10 accused. An accused T. Abu Backer died during trial. One of the convicts, Thekkepurathu Mohammedali, is the first accused in the Marad massacre case of May 2, 2003, and is undergoing life imprisonment.
According to the prosecution, the accused trespassed into the house, destroyed household furniture and utensils and set the house on fire. The victim had claimed a compensation of Rs.1 lakh. The Beypore police registered and investigated the case.
Those acquitted are Thekkepurathu Kasmi; Hamsa Koya; T. Ahamed Koya; Karim alias Abdul Karim; Moideen Koya; Seemamundakathu Tiyaudeen; Majeed Pallithodi; Basheer Pallithodi; Puthenpeedikayil Nazer; and Puthenpeedikayil Shamshu.
The court awarded five years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.10,000 under Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosives with intent to destroy house); one year rigorous imprisonment under Section 427 (mischief causing damage); six months' rigorous imprisonment under Section 147 ( rioting); and one month rigorous imprisonment under Section 143 ( unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.
The prison term will run concurrently. The court awarded a compensation of Rs.20,000 to the victim. If the accused failed to remit the penalty they will have to undergo another one year prison term.
The special court examined 16 witnesses, 13 documents and three material objects. This is the 56th case registered in connection with the communal conflagration on January 3 and 4, 2002. There are nine cases pending before the special court, including three registered during the Marad massacre.