Key naxal leader sentenced to life in `92 blast

Last Updated: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 23:20

Chennai: A designated court here today
sentenced to life imprisonment a key Naxal leader in Tamil
Nadu, who had remained underground for 15 years, in a 1992
railway track blast case.

State CPI (Maoist) leader V Sundaramoorthy, arrested in
July 2007, was sentenced to life terms by Designated TADA
Judge Dakshnamoorthy for offences under the TADA, Explosives
Substances Act and Railways Act. The sentences in the five
separate cases will run concurrently.

According to the prosecution, a section of the track near
Palacode in Dharmapuri District was blasted on October 5,
1992. A possible major train tragedy was averted as railway
officials, on being alerted by some persons about the blasted
track, halted an express train at Palacode station.

The judge also sentenced another accused Sisubalan to five
years rigorous imprisonment.

Soon after the verdict was pronounced, Sundramoorthy`s
lawyer lost his cool and used `foul` language against the
judge for handing down life sentence to his client. He wanted
to know how Sundaramoorthi, accused number three, was awarded
life term when Sisubalan, A-2, was given five years RI.

The lawyer also charged the judge with not giving him an
opportunity to plead for the Naxalite before announcing the
sentence.

However it was later informed that the judge had asked the
convict if he had anything to say and was told that his lawyer
would answer on his behalf. The lawyer remained silent and the
judge went ahead and read out the sentence.

Sundaramoorthi went underground after the blast. He was
arrested on July 10, 2007 in connection with another case and
was produced before the TADA judge on August 14 that year.

The chargesheet, filed by the police in 1993, said
Sisubalan, Sundaramoorthi and another person, Velu, had met at
a farm house in Dharmapuri District and hatched the conspiracy
on October 2 and 3, 1992. The railway line was blasted two
days later.
Sisubalan was covicted on October 29,2003. The case was
split and Velu is yet to be traced.
Counsel for the convict said he would challenge the
conviction in the appellate court.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 23:20

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