A West Bengal court awarded life imprisonment to two Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists Wednesday for the 2006 murder of Singur girl Tapasi Malik.
Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik were also fined a penalty of Rs.10,000 by Additional Sessions Judge Amar Kanti Acharya of the fast track court at the Chandannagar in Hooghly district.
The court had convicted the two Tuesday for the murder of 18-year-old Tapasi, who was among those protesting land acquisition for the Tata Motor's Nano car project in Singur.
Dutta, the CPI-M Singur zonal committee secretary and the prime accused in the case, was found guilty of masterminding the murder and criminal conspiracy. CPI-M activist Debu Malik was convicted on the charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and manipulating evidence.
Tapasi from Bajemelia village in Singur, about 40 km from here, was an active member of the opposition Trinamool Congress-led Save Farmland Committee that was protesting land acquisition for Nano.
The CBI investigated the case.
"Both Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik were convicted for murdering Tapasi Malik. Suhrid chalked out the entire master plan and involved Debu along with three others to carry out the murderous act," Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer Partha Sarathi Basu told reporters outside the court premises.
He said the federal investigation agency first zeroed in on the motive of the murder and then advanced with the investigation.
Reacting to court's verdict, opposition Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chattopadhyay said: "The verdict comes as a victory of our democracy. People have understood the conspiracy of the CPI-M cadres and they'll now stand up against that."
"After this verdict, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should resign immediately," he said.
The Tatas withdrew their Nano project from Singur earlier this year in the face of continuing protests against land acquisition.