A special court in Kerala on Tuesday found 14 persons guilty of lynching an Adivasi man in Attappadi taluk of Palakkad district in 2018, Bar and Bench reported. The quantum of punishment will be announced on April 5.
Madhu was killed by a mob on February 22, 2018, on suspicion that he had stolen rice and curry powder from local shops. The accused had also recorded the lynching on their mobile phones.
The Kerala Police had arrested 16 persons in the case, according to The Indian Express.
They had been booked on charges of murder, abduction, kidnapping, assault, causing injury with weapons, unlawful assembly and rioting with weapons as well as under the provisions of the the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In Tuesday’s ruling, the court acquitted two persons – Aneesh and Abdul Kareem. While Aneesh was accused of circulating the photos and videos of the lynching on social media, Abdul was accused of calling Madhu a thief.
Those who were convicted are Hussein, Marakkar, Shamsudheen, Radhakrishnan, Aboobacker, Siddique, Ubaid, Najeeb, Jaijumon, Sajeev, Satheesh, Hareesh, Biju and Muneer.
The trial in the case was delayed as three prosecution lawyers pulled out of the case. At least 22 of the 27 witnesses produced by the prosecution had also turned hostile.