Gulf Today

All 3 accused in Kasaragod murder case acquitted


KASARAGOD: A Sessions Court here on Saturday acquited all three accused in the sensationa­l murder of Mohammed Riyas Moulavi, 34, an Islamic preacher and Madrasa teacher in Kasaragod.

The accused S Ajesh (aka Appu), 20, N Akhilesh, 25 and S Nithin Kumar, 19, all workers of Rashtriya Swayamseva­k Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and residents of Kelugude in Kasaragod town, were set free by Session Court Judge KK Balakrishn­an with a one line sentence.

They were acquited for lack of evidence. The accused, who failed to get bail, were in prison as under-trials for the past seven years.

The trial pertaining to the case was wrapped up two months ago and the verdict was finally issued. Riyas Moulavi, a native of Kodagu district in neighbouri­ng Karnataka, was a muezzin of Muhayuddin Juma Masjid at Choori on the outskirts of Kasaragod town.

He was also a teacher at Issathul Islam Madrasa, a religious school attached to the mosque.

According to the prosecutio­n, on the intervenin­g night of March 20 and 21, 2017, miscreants entered the mosque compound and knocked on the door of Riyas Moulavi.

When he opened the door, they stabbed him 14 times and let him to die.

On March 21, 2017, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) called for a hartal. On the third day of the murder, a special investigat­ion team headed by A Srinivas, who was then the Superinten­dent of Police of Kannur Crime Branch, arrested Ajesh, Akhilesh and Nithin.

The unprovoked and apparently motiveless murder pushed Kasaragod to the brink of communal violence. There was no communal strife earlier and Riyas Moulavi was not involved any act of crime before.

Reacting to the court verdict, Opposition Leader VD Satheesan said he was very disappoint­ed with the judgement.

According to Satheesan, police and prosecutio­n ‘conspired’ to save RSS workers. “The government handled the case light-heartedly. The acquital of the accused in the brutal murder of an innocent teacher shows the failure of the police”, he told media persons on Saturday.

The action commitee seeking justice for the deceased teacher has vowed to move the higher court seeking a fair trial.

With this acquittals, Kasaragod police have maintained the dubious record of zero conviction in communal killings in district since 2008. On March 16, 2008, Mohammed Sinan was stabbed to death when he was 21 years old.

BJP activists were arrested as accused. Senior leader and ace criminal advocate PS Sreedharan Pillai defended the accused and got their acquital.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain