Prosecution moves to protect witnesses in Madhu case

With 17 witnesses turning hostile during the trial in the tribesman Madhu lynching case, the prosecution is making last ditch efforts to secure the remaining witnesses.

Armed with the call data records of 11 accused to establish that they had contacted the witnesses and influenced them, the prosecution has approached the Special Court for trying the offences booked under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act case at Mannarkkad for cancelling their bail.

The prosecution has identified Marakkar, Shamsudheen, Aneesh, Radhakrishnan, Aboobakar, Siddiq, Najeeb, Jaijumon, Abdul Kareem, Sajeeev and Biju as the ones who had attempted to influences the witnesses. It has also reportedly collected evidence for money changing hands and middlemen attempting to influence the witnesses.

While granting them bail, the Kerala High Court had directed the accused not to contact any witnesses directly or over telephone or otherwise till the trial was over. They were also asked not to make any attempt to influence or threaten the witnesses in any manner.

Call data

The monitoring of the e-mails and telephone calls of some of the eyewitnesses who had given statements under Section 164 of the Indian Penal Code before the court revealed that they were in constant contact with the accused. Some of the accused had even continuously contacted the witnesses before they entered the witness box. The calls and e-mails were monitored as directed by the witness protection committee, pointed out the prosecution.

According to the prosecution, all the accused, who are politically and economically strong, have been trying to derail the judicial process using their money and muscle power, which is against the interests of public justice. If the accused are set free, they will influence the remaining eyewitnesses also, which will prejudicially affect the fair conduct of the case, fears the prosecution.

The accused had allegedly abducted Madhu, a mentally unsound person, on February 2, 2018, stripped him naked and assaulted him. Two of the accused, who had captured the visuals of the attack, uploaded it on social media. Madhu later succumbed to his injuries.

The trial in the case had hit the headlines with two of the earlier appointed special public prosecutors stepping down. The delay in conducting the trial had also invited public criticism.

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Printable version | Aug 24, 2022 5:12:42 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/prosecution-moves-to-protect-witnesses-in-madhu-case/article65750184.ece