UP: Nine get life term for 2007 murder over land dispute

According to the government counsel in the case, on May 25, 2007, Ram Chandar, a resident of the district’s Dudhwa village, accused his neighbour Ibrahim and others of harvesting crops on disputed land claimed by both of them.

A local court in Lakhimpur Kheri district has sentenced nine people to life imprisonment in a 2007 case about clashes over a land dispute in which one person was killed. In a related case, based on a counter FIR, nine people from the same village were sent to prison for five years for causing grievous hurt. The judgments were issued on Friday.

According to the government counsel in the case, on May 25, 2007, Ram Chandar, a resident of the district’s Dudhwa village, accused his neighbour Ibrahim and others of harvesting crops on disputed land claimed by both of them.

Ibrahim’s son Athar filed an FIR saying he was returning from the field with his three brothers and a friend when they were attacked by the accused with sharp weapons. The accused blamed the brothers for cultivating the field that they claimed belonged to Ram Chandar. In the attack, four people were injured and later the complainant’s brother, Akhtar, died during treatment.

On Athar’s complaint, an FIR was lodged against 11 people on various charges, including murder, at the Phoolbehat police station. The accused were arrested and sent to jail. A local court released them on bail a few days later. The police later filed a charge sheet against the 11, two of whom died during the trial.

The other case was registered on the basis of Ram Chandar’s complaint. He claimed that he and three of his neighbours and relatives were attacked when they were returning home from the field. Three of them sustained injuries from a blunt object in the attack. The FIR was filed against nine people on various charges, including voluntarily causing grievous hurt. These nine too were out on bail.

The trial in both cases ran simultaneously. “On Friday, Additional District and Sessions Judge Sunil Prasad sentenced nine persons to life imprisonment in the murder case. In the cross-case, nine other persons were sentenced to five years imprisonment. All accused were sent to jail after the judgment was pronounced,” said government counsel Sandeep Mishra, adding that eight witnesses each were examined in the two cases.

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