Eleven people including a former Trinamool Congress leader were awarded death sentence by Nadia district court on Thursday for killing a woman to grab government land about 14 months ago.
Judge Partha Sarathi Mukhopadhyay slapped death penalty on the 11 accused for shooting to death Aparna Bag on November 23, 2014. One accused, Manabesh Biswas is still absconding.
The 11 were convicted on Wednesday and the punishment was pronounced by the court on Thursday.
They were charged under sections 9B of Explosive, 27/35 of Arms Act, IPC 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder).
Among those who were sentenced to death on Thursday is former Krishnaganj Trinamool Congress leader Lankeswar Ghosh, but the ruling party has said that he was not its member.
The woman was killed when Ghosh along with his gang tried to seize land at Ghungragachhi under Krishnaganj block, which belongs to Refugee and Refugee Rehabilitation Department of West Bengal Government.
The land was being tilled by 55 families for long and they claimed to have its possession. Some had even sold portions they claimed were theirs.
On November 23, 2014, Ghosh along with his men appeared on the field on a tractor and tried to take over the land by force and was faced with resistance by the tillers.
In the clash that ensued there was firing and three women received bullet injuries. Aparna Bag was hit on her chest and died. Two other women - Shyamali Tarafdar was hit on her jaw and Latika Tarafdar on her head. A student Rajiv Mondal too was hit by a bullet on his leg. The three, however, recovered later.
A complaint was lodged with the police by Dipankar Biswas of Ghungragachhi and a case was initiated and 11 out of the 12 accused were arrested and kept in jail.
Aparna's two daughters Devika and Nilima were the main witnesses.
The 11 sentenced to death were Ghosh, Palash Ghosh, Sanat Ghosh, Shyamal Ghosh, Jhantu Ghosh, Goutam Ghosh, Paresh Ghosh, Joydeb Ghosh, Nepal Ghosh, Rajkumar Ghosh and Basu Ghosh.