Palakkad: A court in Kerala on Tuesday convicted fourteen persons for lynching and murder of a tribal man Madhu in 2018.
The verdict, that comes 5 years after a murder that created much outrage across communities, was delivered by SC/ST Special Court Judge Ratheesh Kumar.
According to Mathrubhumi, the order was passed by a special court constituted for trying cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act)
The prosecution case was that Madhu, a mentally challenged tribal youth, was tied up and brutally beaten to death by the accused in Palakkad’s Attappadi.
The accused had allegedly caught Madhu from a nearby forest and assaulted him after accusing him of stealing rice from a grocery shop.
The accused who were found guilty today by the Special Court were accused of committing offenses punishable under Sections 143, 147, 148, 323, 324, 326, 294(b), 342, 352, 364, 367, 368, and 302 r/w 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3(1) (d), (r) (s) and 3(2) (v) of the Scheduled Caste and SC/ST(PoA) Act.
The High Court had granted bail to them earlier subject to several conditions.
However, the Special Court later cancelled the bail after noting that several witnesses had turned hostile at the behest of accused.
The High Court subsequently upheld the cancellation of bail in 2022.’
On 23 May, 2018 a gang of men from Mananthvadi village ganged up against Madhu, a mentally unstable tribal youth. The assailants bound his hands and beat him up for what they said was stealing grocery from shop. Madhu spent most of his time in the forest and ventured to the village only on lookout for some food. The brutal lynching of a marginalised tribal over picking a pack of rice and some basic grocery, created shock and outrage across communities.
The prosecution case was that Madhu, a mentally challenged tribal youth, was tied up and brutally beaten to death by the convicts who accused him of stealing rice from a grocery shop.