KOCHI: The CBI Court in Kochi on Friday awarded life imprisonment to two persons who were found guilty in honour killing of a Youth Congress leader for marrying a Muslim woman in Kasargod. The court also imposed fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the accused persons.
The case is related to the murder of the Youth Congress leader Balakrishnan after he married a Muslim woman in 2001. S Santhosh Kumar, CBI Judge awarded life imprisonment to Mohammad Iqbal alias Ikku of Thekkil, Chattachal, Kasargod, and Mohammed Haneef alias Jackie Haneef of Thalangara, Kasargod who were found guilty by the court under IPC section 120(b) for conspiracy and section 302 for murder. The court ordered that fine amount should be provided to Gopalan father of the deceased.
The court had acquitted A Abdul Gafoor alias Gafoor, of Thayalandgadi, Kasargod; A M Muhammad of Chengala, Kasargod, and Aboobackar Haji of Uppala, Kasargod. Before announcing the sentence, the court heard from prosecution and defence lawyers.
CBI prosecutor, K R Biju Babu submitted that maximum punishment should be granted to the accused persons. According to her, deceased Balakrishnan was the only support for his parents- Gopalan and Pankajakshi. She also requested the court to impose maximum fine on the accused which can be provided to father of Balakrishnan.
However, defence lawyers asked the court to consider the current life situation of the accused persons now. According to them, the case is not the rarest case which would attract capital punishment. The first accused Mohammed Iqbal have three children and one of his son is partially blind now. He is finding hard to meet the medical expenses of the child. While lawyer appeared from Haneef claimed that accused was a cardiac patient.
The accused persons were shifted to Kannur Central Jail. Gopalan, the father of Balakrishnan welcomed the verdict. "I have no other option than finding solace in the verdict of the court. I lost my child and recently my wife also passed away," he said.
The related incident took place on Septemeber 18, 2001 three months after Balakrishnan married Muslim woman. Balakrishnan was forcibly taken in a car by Mohammad Iqbal and Mohammed Haneef. They stabbed Balakrishnan inside the car. Escaped from the car, Balakrishnan reached in the courtyard of a mosque. The Imam of the mosque with the help of residents rushed Balakrishnan to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries.
It was in 2010, CBI took over the probe and arraigned Aboobacker Haji of Uppala, whose daughter married Balakrishnan as accused. However, Aboobacker was acquitted in the absence of evidence.