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Thursday 15 December 2011

HC acquits four awarded death for 2007 massacre

HC acquits four awarded death for 2007 massacre

Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday acquitted four suspected
Maoists who were awarded death sentence for the 2007 massacre of 19 people,
including the son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi.

A division bench of the Jharkhand High Court of Justice RK Merethia and
Justice DN Upadhaya acquitted the four convicted men granting them benefit
of doubt.

A Giridih court had early this year awarded death sentence to the four
Maoist guerrillas involved in the massacre of 19 people at Chilkhari
village of Giridih district in 2007.

Maoist guerrillas had attacked during a cultural programme in Chilkhari
village at night and sprayed the assembled villagers with gunfire. In the
attack, 12 were also injured. The programme was attended by Nunulal Marandi
and Anup Marandi, brother and son of former chief minister Babulal Marandi.
Anup Marandi was killed in the attack while Nunulal escaped.

The four men awarded death sentence were* Jitan Marandi*, Manoj Rajuwar,
Anil Ram and Chatrapati. Their family members and many social workers
defended them.

The contradictory statements of the witnesses went in favour of the accused
and they were acquitted on the ground of benefit of doubt.

Police produced six witnesses who had criminal background and were not
present at the programme. None of the 12 injured people could identify
anyone accused of the massacre.

The acquittal is considered a setback for Jharkhand Police.

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