Bengal farmers’ killing: 44 CPI-M activists get life term

November 11th, 2010 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Suri (West Bengal), Nov 11 (IANS) A court in Birbhum district of West Bengal Thursday gave life sentence to 44 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists convicted for killing 11 farmers in July 2000.

“First Additional and District Session Judge of Suri Court Biswanath Konar ordered life term for all the 44 CPI-M cadres for murder and rioting. They have also been fined by Rs.5000 or will face six month’s additional imprisonment if they fail to pay the fine,” said Ranjit Ganguly, a lawyer representing Trinamool Congress.

“Out of 67 alive accused in the case, 44 were convicted for murder, rioting and illegal assembly and the remaining 23 were released by the court Wednesday” he said.

“The convicted, including CPI-M district committee member Ramprasad Ghosh, rural body members Nitya Narayan Chatterjee and Golam Sarwar and senior leaders Mohan Sheikh and Gopal Majhi, were brought before the court around noon,” Ganguly said.

The announcement of the punishment was delayed for hours after the defence counsel asked for a copy of the judgment, he added.

Eleven landless farmers were hacked to death in Suchpur village of Nanoor in Birbhum July 27, 2000. Following the killing, a first information report (FIR) was lodged with Nanoor police station against 81 CPI-M cadres.

In August 2001, the charge sheet was submitted by Nanoor police against 77 accused persons. The trial started in 2002 and continued for eight years, during which 10 accused died.

Following a petition by the sympathizers of the complainants, the Calcutta High Court asked the district court to speed up the proceedings. The trial court announced Sep 24 that the verdict will be declared Oct 4, which was put off again to Nov 10.

All India general secretary of Trinamul Congress and minister of state for shipping Mukul Ray, who was present in the court, said: “It was proved that CPI-M leaders killed our supporters brutally in Suchpur. Law has taken its course and all the accused were punished.”

Trinamool Congress district president Anubrata Mondal said: “The verdict is of great importance, it will break the backbone of the ruling Marxist in the forthcoming assembly election.”

CPI-M district committee secretary Dilip Ganguly said: “We will definitely go against the verdict and appeal before the higher court as our leaders and supporters were not involved in that case.”

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