Justice succour for father - Constable convicted after 14 years for killing teen

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By RITUPALLAB SAIKIA
  • Published 11.11.13
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Golaghat, Nov. 10: Justice, though delayed, has not been denied to Purna Nath, a 60-year-old pensioner whose son was murdered by Arun Kurmi, an Assam police constable, 14 years ago.

Sessions judge T. Lohar awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 to Arun Kurmi on November 8.

The court also convicted Kurmi under the Arms Act and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of seven years.

If Kurmi fails to pay the fine, he will have to undergo further rigorous imprisonment of two years.

The district legal service authority has also been ordered by the court to give compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the guardian of the victim under Assam Victim Compensation Scheme. Purna Nath, a retired employee of the village defence organisation of Assam police, told The Telegraph that the dead are gone but what is important is that the soul of his departed son will now rest in peace as justice, though delayed, has been delivered.

“Our faith in the judiciary has never faltered, though once the accused was acquitted of the charges of murder and it is our faith in the judiciary that ultimately got justice for us,” Nath said.

On August 20, 1999, the victim, Ranjan Nath, then 18, was shot dead in the compound of Urbashi cinema hall where he had gone to watch a film.

During investigation, the police seized an empty cartridge of a 9mm pistol and eventually tracked it to the Browning pistol number 16236901 issued to constable Arun Kurmi from Police Reserve, Golaghat.

In 2006, after completion of the trial, the then sessions judge S.P. More acquitted the accused, awarding him the benefit of doubt.

However, Gauhati High Court set aside the said impugned judgment and directed the sessions court, Golaghat, to frame appropriate charges against the accused.

Accordingly, fresh charges were framed against the accused and final verdict was given on November 8.

In his judgment, the sessions judge observed, “After going through the evidence of the prosecution witness, I find that the motive behind the crime has not surfaced. None of the prosecution witness had stated the cause as to why the accused inflicted the fatal injury to the deceased. If there is something, it has been buried with the deceased.”