THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seven activists of Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM), including its state leaders, were on Thursday sentenced to life term and fined Rs 2.85 lakh each in the Varkala Sivaprasad murder case by Thiruvananthapuram second additional sessions judge A. Badharudheen.
The judge also ordered to pay compensation of Rs 6 lakh to the family of deceased Sivaprasad and Rs 2.5 lakh to the family of a tea shop owner Ashokan who was hacked by the gang. The guilty will have to undergo one more year of rigorous imprisonment in case the fine is not paid.
Those convicted are DHRM south-zone secretary Varkala Das of Cherinyoor, state chairman Selvaraj of Aluva, DHRM activists Jayachandran of Perumpuzha in Kollam, Madhu alias Saji of Cherinyoor, Kollam native Sudhi, Varkala native Sudhi Sura and Ayiroor native Sunil alias Ponnumon.
The prosecution case was that Ayiroor native Sivaprasad, 60, was murdered while he was on his morning walk at Ayiroor on September 23, 2009 and Ashokan was hacked by DHRM activists in a bid to gain publicity by unleashing terror. They tried to attack one Anilkumar on the same day. The victims were not having any political connections.
Sivaprasad's wife Saraswathy expressed happiness over the verdict and said she did not want capital punishment to the accused. “They did not consider about our family while murdering my husband. But I have consideration for their families and hence don't prefer capital punishment for them,” said Saraswathy.
Public prosecutor M. Hashim Babu and advocate D.G. Rex who appeared for the prosecution said that they would file an appeal against the acquittal of the six accused in the case.