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Editor given life till death

Agartala, July 17: The editor and proprietor of a vernacular daily who was found guilty in a triple murder case, was spared the noose today for his advanced age but sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment till his death.

Sushil Chowdhury, editor-cum-proprietor of Ganadoot Patrika, was sentenced by additional district and sessions judge Kripankar Chakraborty this morning under Sections 302,120 (B), 34, 109 and 201 IPC.

Special public prosecutor Dilip Sarkar appealed for capital punishment on the ground that Chowdhury had masterminded the murder of three of his employees who he was supposed to protect as employer. However, senior advocate Pijush Biswas, representing Chowdhury, cited his client’s advanced age and requested leniency.

When the judge asked Chowdhury for his final appeal, he said, “Sir, I am innocent and a victim of a conspiracy. I am 75 and do not have long to live. Please consider this.”

The judge described the triple murder a “rarest of rare cases” but spared Chowdhury the gallows because of his age. “This crime is a fit case for awarding death sentence but the guilty person is already 75 years old and hence I sentence him to rigorous life term till death and impose on him a fine of Rs 50,000. In case he fails to pay the amount, the government shall confiscate his property to realise the amount,” said Chakrabokrty.

Sarkar expressed his satisfaction saying “this judgment will act as a deterrent for other criminals”.

However, Biswas, who represented Chowdhury, said he would appeal in the high court on behalf of his client.

“This judgment is extremely unfair and partial, I will go to the high courts,” said Chowdhury.