Death sentence for one, life term to 5 in murder case

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Alappuzha, Kerala, May 17 (UNI) A trial court here today awarded death sentence to the lorry driver, the first accused in the sensational Kanichukulangara multiple-murder case, and life imprisonment to five others.

Alappuzha Principal Sessions Judge D Sreevallabhan pronounced the death sentence on lorry driver Unni. Five others, including Himalayan Chit Fund partners Sajith and Bineesh were awarded lifer and also directed to pay a fine of Rs five lakh each.

Lorry cleaner Ajith and co-conspirators Shiby and M Saju were the others who were awarded life imprisonment for the murder of former Himalaya employee Ramesh (27), his sister Latha (24) and driver Shamsudeen(32) on July 20, 2005.

The three travelling in a vehicle, were killed on the spot when a lorry been driven by Unni rammed into their vehicle on the national highway near Kanichukulangara.

The case was initially treated as a road accident. However, further police investigation revealed a conspiracy to eliminate Ramesh due to business rivalry.

Ramesh had left Himalaya Chit Funds to set up his own company by the name of Everest Chit Fund.

Co-accused Unnikrishnan was sentenced to one year imprisonment, Gokulan to two years and Shibinraj to three years imprisonment.

They were all convicted for destroying evidence.

The sentence was read out in a court here this afternoon.

Police presence around the court was heavy.

The accused were likely to be taken to the Central Jail in Thiruvananthapuram.

In his 335-page verdict given on May 15, the judge had found these nine people guilty of murder of Ramesh, his sister and driver while acquitting three others, Daniel, Ambika and Sujith.

Of the 179 witnesses, 118 deposed in the court and 18 of them turned hostile.

While Ramesh, Latha and Shamsudheen were killed on the spot, Ramesh's cousins Kuttikrishnan and Vijayadharan were seriously injured in the incident.


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