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Justice after 40 years! Court convicts four in ex-Rail Minister LN Mishra murder case


New Delhi, Dec 8: Nearly 40 years after the then Railway Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra was killed in a bomb blast at a function at Samastipur Railway Station in Bihar, a Delhi court on Monday convicted four persons for the charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.

Lalit Narayan Mishra (file photo)
District Judge (DJ) Vinod Goel convicted the four persons, Ranjan Dwivedi, Santoshananda Avadhuta, Sudevananda Avadhuta and Gopalji for various offences punishable under the IPC, including sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt).

The court also held them guilty for offences punishable under the Explosive Substances Act.

"Vide separate detailed judgement, accused Ranjan Dwivedi, Santoshananda Avadhuta, Sudevananda Avadhuta and Gopalji are convicted for offences under sections 120-B, 302, 326, 324, 34 (common intention) of the IPC," the judge said.

The court has fixed December 15 for hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence in the case. They will either get life term or death penalty. All of them were out on bail in this case.

"All these accused be taken in custody," the court said, adding, "Now to come up for hearing on quantum of sentence on December 15."

Lawyers for the four convicts, who were present in the court and appeared devastated, said they will appeal against the court order. The case relates to the bomb blast at a function attended by Mishra at Samastipur Railway Station on January 2, 1975. He succumbed to injuries the next day.

Besides Mishra, two persons had died in the bomb blast while seven others were injured. Over 200 witnesses, including 161 prosecution witnesses and more than 40 defence witnesses, were examined in the case.

Advocate Ranjan Dwivedi, who was 24-year-old at that time and the youngest among the four, was named as an accused in the case along with four Ananda Marga group members, one of whom has died.

The charge sheet in the case was filed on November 1, 1977 in a CBI court in Patna. The case was shifted to Delhi in 1979 on a plea by the then Attorney General to the Supreme Court.


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