12 death sentences, 251 life in Bihar this year

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Patna, Oct 6 (UNI) Twelve people have been awarded death sentences and 251 life imprisonment in connection with various criminal cases, including those involving some high-profile politicians in Bihar, so far this year.

State police headquarters sources said three influential politicians--former MP Anand Mohan and former MLAs--Akhlaque Ahmad and Arun Kumar were awarded death sentences by a lower court in Patna on October 3 in connection with the murder of former Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiya, who was beaten to death by a mob at Muzaffarpur on December 5, 1994.

Four others, including former MP Lovely Anand and ruling JD(U) MLA Munna Shukla, were awarded life terms in the same case.

Altogether six people were awarded death sentences in different cases by a lower court in Patna on August 18 in connection with the killing of a child at Phulwari Sharif. The concerned courts had awarded exemplary punishments in both the cases after treating them as ''rarest of the rare'' in nature, sources added.

In three separate cases, one accused each was awarded death sentence in Darbhanga, Motihari and Samastipur on May 31, August 22 and October 3 respectively.

Earlier, controversial RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin was awarded life imprisonment in connection with kidnapping and subsequently killing of CPI(ML) leader Chhote Lal Gupta in Siwan. He was also facing several other criminal cases and special courts had been constituted at the premises of the Siwan jail itself for speedy trials in all these cases. Shahabuddin is presently lodged in Siwan jail.

Fourteen people were awarded life imprisonment in connection with massacre of more than 100 people at Logai village during Bhagalpur riot of 1989. Nine people were also awarded life imprisonment on September 17 this year for Miyanpur carnage, engineered in Aurangabad district on June 16, 2000.

State Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said the Bihar government would constitute more special courts in consultation with High Court to ensure speedy trial of the cases involving influential persons.

Twentyone such cases had already been identified in this connection, he added.

''Conviction of influential persons in DM murder case would send a strong message, which would deter the criminals from indulging in such activities'', Mr Amanullah said, adding that ensuring convictions through speedy trials would help in improving the law and order situation in the state.

UNI

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