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Four get 7-year jail sentence for riots

Second additional and sessions judge Binod Kumar on Friday awarded seven years’ rigorous imprisonment to four accused in the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riot case.

On June 10, the court convicted the four — Shyam Sundar Modi (62), Krishna Kumar Modi (61), Baldev Rajak (65) and Damodar Sha (56) — after finding them guilty of arson and loot, besides fanning communal tension at Bela and Tarakura hamlets in Banka district on November 7, 1989.

At the time of the incident, both the villages were then part of Bhagalpur district. “The court awarded the punishment to the four under Section 436 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Atiullah, the additional special public prosecutor. He said: “The court also imposed two years’ imprisonment under Section 148 of IPC, a three-year imprisonment under Section 380 and another three-year term under Section 150 (B) of the IPC to the four.” According to him, all additional punishments would run concurrently, that is, the quantum of punishment would be for seven years only.

“We are being falsely implicated in the case. We all are businessmen and had nothing to do with the communal violence. The judgment is a clear reflection of appeasement of the minority community by the state government,” alleged Shyam Sundar Modi.

Family members of the minority community declined to comment on the judgment. “At the time of the riot, I was just six months old. How can I comment on the judgment?” said Mohammad Salim of Tarakura hamlet, whose uncle’s house was burnt in the riot.

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