PATNA: Five Maoists accused of killing two CRPF jawans and injuring 10 others in a landmine blast in Bihar during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls were on Thursday awarded the death sentence by a lower court in Munger.
The five convicts – Adhiklal Pandit, Wano Koda, Ratu Koda, Manu Koda and Vipin Mandal – will also have to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 each, ordered judge Jyoti Swarup Srivastava of the Munger additional sessions court.
The five Maoists were found guilty of triggering a landmine blast and then firing at a CRPF vehicle in Jamui district during the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in the State on April 10, 2014. The early-morning blast on the Haveli Kharagpur-Jamui main road passing through the dense forests of Bhimbandh wildlife sanctuary had caused panic among voters.
The Maoists had urged the people to boycott the polls in southern Bihar districts. Seeing voter enthusiasm in the days leading up to the election day, they had triggered the blast to discourage people. The six seats in Bihar that went to polls that day had registered a low 52 per cent voter turnout.
Two CRPF jawans – Som Gowda of Karnataka and Ravindra Rai of Bihar – had succumbed to their injuries on the way to a hospital and 10 other injured jawans survived after treatment at the Sadar Hospital in Munger.
All the six parliamentary constituencies where polling took place that day – Jamui, Aurangabad, Sasaram, Gaya, Nawada and Karakat – are located in Maoist-affected areas in the State.
Top contenders in the race were then LS Speaker Meira Kumar of Congress, Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary of JD(U), LJP’s Chirag Paswan, former Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar of Congress, former Bihar minister Giriraj Singh of BJP and former Union minister Kanti Singh of RJD.