CPM leader, worker awarded life term for Tapasi murder

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Chandannagore, Nov 12 (UNI) CPI(M) leader Suhrid Dutta and party worker Debu Malik, convicted in the Tapasi Malik murder case, were today sentenced to life imprisonment by Additional District and Sessions Judge Amarkanti Acharya.

Stating that it was an instance of the ''rarest of the rare cases'', CBI counsel Partha Tapaswi had sought the highest degree of punishment for the two.

However, the fast track court-I judge refrained from announcing capital punishment for the convicts, as prayed by the CBI counsel, and awarded them life terms.

Besides, a fine of Rs 12,000 was slapped on CPI(M)'s Hooghly district committee member Suhrid Dutta, while Debu Malik was fined Rs 22,000.

Yesterday, the court had found the duo guilty under various sections of the IPC, including 302 (murder) read with 120B (conspiracy) and 201 (tampering with official documents).

Defence counsel Arindam Bhattacharya, however, stated that they would appeal in the higher court against the verdict.

The charred body of Tapasi Malik, the daughter of a farmer who had participated in the movement against land acquisition, was found in a ditch at the Tata Motors small car project site at Singur on December 18, 2006.

The CBI started investigation in the case and arrested Debu Malik on June 24, 2007 and subsequently arrested Suhrid Dutta on June 28, 2007.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M)'s local MP Roopchand Pal, Hooghly district committee secretary Vinod Das, state committee member Sunil Sarkar and other party leaders were holding a meeting at Chandannagore to decide their further course of action.

The leaders also asserted their firm support to Suhrid Dutta.

UNI XC DPM PL RN1554

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