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Marad riots: Five years on, 63 found guilty

December 27, 2008 13:04 IST
Last Updated: December 27, 2008 15:02 IST

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A Special Court on Saturday convicted 63 accused, in a case relating to the May 2003 communal attack at Marad beach near Kozhikode in Kerala [Images], while acquitting 76 others for want of evidence.

The attack had claimed nine lives.

Pronouncing the verdict in the case, Additional Session Judge Babu Mathew P Joseph said, of the total 139 accused, the prosecution could establish charges only against 63 of them.

While the court ordered cancellation of bail granted to the convicts, it said those absolved of the charges be set free immediately. Charges of murder had been framed against 62 of the convicts, while one had been held guilty of misusing a place of worship for carrying out the attack.

Argument against the convicts to decide the quantum of punishment would commence on December 30, the Judge, who himself had earlier received a life threat for conducting the trial, said.

The killings were carried out by assailants, who reportedly arrived on the beach from across the Chaliyar river by boat late evening on May 2, 2003. The dead, eight of them belonging to majority community, also included one of the accused who was killed accidentally during the attack.

The communal violence, worst-ever in the state's history, was said to be in sequel to the attack that took place in the same area a year before in which five persons were killed.

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