Burdwan, Sept. 30: Thirteen CPM supporters were sentenced to life imprisonment by the additional district and sessions judge here today for twin murders committed 18 years ago.
They were indicted following a bloody dispute over animal sacrifice between villagers of Pandudaha and Beldanga in the Budbud police station area of the district.
On January 15, 1984, the villagers of the neighbouring localities clashed over who should offer the sacrificial goat to the gods on Pous Sankranti.
The issue took a political turn with supporters of the CPM and the Congress clashing amongst each other.
On the morning of the last day of the Bengali month of Pous, a CPM supporter of Pandudaha, Nimai Bagdi, was injured in an altercation.
Three days later, Bagdi died at Burdwan Medical College Hospital. Though the police managed to stave of the initial tension following the death, a 50-strong contingent of CPM supporters, armed with spears and other sharp weapons, raided the house of Nimai Mondal of Beldanga later that day.
After setting fire to the surrounding huts, they hacked Mondal and his father.
The Budbud police had arrested 14 Congress supporters for the death of Bagdi. They picked up 14 CPM supporters for the Mondal deaths.
Burdwan court’s public prosecutor Kashinath Banerjee said additional district and sessions judge Arjun Prasad Gupta acquitted all the 14 arrested for Bagdi’s murder but sentenced the 13 CPM supporters. They have been “proven guilty”.
One of the accused, Sadhan Bagdi, had died while the trial was on.
All those sentenced today were brought to the court from the prison to hear their punishments.