Five sentenced to life in jail for kidnapping shoe baron (Lead)May 20th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, May 20 (IANS) Mafia don Aftab Ansari and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here Wednesday for the sensational 2001 kidnap of Partha Pratim Roy Burman, owner of the shoe manufacturing firm Khadim.
Delivering the verdict, Additional District Judge of Alipore Court Biswarup Bandyopadhyay acquitted 17 others chargesheeted in the case for lack of evidence.
The four others others who were jailed for life were Happy singh, Aqib Ali, Abdur Rahman Punji and Asabuddin, according to public prosecutor Naba Ghosh.
The five were convicted under Article 364 A of the Indian Penal Code. They were declared guilty of kidnapping for ransom, wrongful confinement and conspiracy for abduction.
Aftab, the prime accused in the case, was the brain behind the conspiracy hatched in Dubai to kidnap Roy Burman, the owner of Khadim Shoes.
Aftab was arrested in Dubai and flown to India after the terrorist attack on the American Center here in 2002. He has already been given the death sentence in the American Center case.
According to the prosecution, Roy Burman was abducted on way to his company’s factory July 25, 2001 from the Tiljala area of east Kolkata and kept confined within a house in Pakuria village of neighbouring Howrah district.
The injured Roy Burman was allowed to return home Aug 2, 2001 after his family members paid a ransom of Rs.37.5 million.
Two of the accused Asif Reza Khan and Obeda died during the trial.
Three other accused - bar singer Swati Pal, Babloo Zafar and Noor Ahmed Mollah - had turned approvers in the case.
The accused were chargesheeted in May 2002 and the trial started in 2005.
Roy Burman had been declared ‘hostile’ by the prosecution for refusing to identify his voice in an audio tape made while he was in the custody of his abductors.
An official from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had deposed in the case.
The defence counsels said they will move a higher court against the verdict.
Among those acquitted were Jamaluddin Nasser who was earlier given capital punishment for his involvement in the attack on the American Center.