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Two get life for killing man in 2001 Kerala hate crime

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Kochi on Friday sentenced two men to life imprisonment for murdering a man 17 years ago for marrying a Muslim woman.

india Updated: May 18, 2018 23:04 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvanananthapuram
Keralal,Kerala Hate Crime,CBI
Arrest-handcuffs.(Shutterstock Photo)

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Kochi on Friday sentenced two men to life imprisonment for murdering a man 17 years ago for marrying a Muslim woman.

The court awarded the punishment to Mohamed Iqbal and Jackie Haneef and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on them after they were held guilty of murdering M Balakrishnan in 2001. Three other accused, including the father of Balakrishnan’s wife, were acquitted for want of evidence.

Presenting its case, the prosecution said that on September 18, 2001, three months after Youth Congress chief of Kasargode (north Kerala) unit, Balakrishnan married a Muslim woman, the two accused forced him into a car and drove him to a secluded place where they stabbed him. The prosecution had contended that the woman’s father had hired the two assailants but the court ruled that the CBI failed to prove charges against him.

Although the prosecution had argued for maximum punishment against the convicts by stating that the case belonged to the rarest of rare category, the defence asked the court to tone down the two men’s quantum of punishment on account of the long duration of the case and their current living conditions.

Reacting to the ruling, the victim’s father M Gopalan, a retired tehsildar, said: “It was a long battle and I am happy my son’s killers finally got what they deserved.”

First Published: May 18, 2018 23:04 IST