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Madrassa teacher murder case: Kerala CM says his govt committed to ensuring punishment for killers

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Kozhikode (Kerala), Apr 1 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said his government is committed to ensuring deserved punishment for the killers of Mohammed Riyas Moulavi, a Madrassa teacher who was found murdered inside a mosque in Kasaragod seven years ago, and said all possibilities of law would be explored for that.

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The practice of killing people in the name of religious hatred must be stopped at any cost and the government is taking all steps in this regard, he said at a press conference here.

The chief minister also rejected opposition criticism against his government over the recent acquittal of RSS activists in the sensational case and said the police and the prosecution maintained transparency and absolute honesty throughout the investigation and trial.

Even the family of the deceased Moulavi had mentioned their sincerity and dedication in the case on many occasions, he said.

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"There was no negligence or delay in the investigation or in the conduct of the case," Vijayan said.

A court in Kasaragod on Saturday acquitted three RSS activists in the case saying that the prosecution was not able to prove the accused had any kind of enmity with the Muslim community.

Despite all the evidence, scientific results and witnesses' statements, the verdict in the case didn't uphold the findings of the prosecution, which has triggered shock in society, Vijayan claimed.

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"The government is committed to ensuring that the killers of Riyas Moulavi get the punishment they deserve. All possibilities of law would be explored for that. Steps have already been initiated in this regard," the chief minister said.

He further said that from the day of their arrest, the accused persons had to spend seven years and seven days in jail as trial prisoners.

Though they tried for bail several times, it was denied to them due to the strict stance of the government, Vijayan explained.

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The investigation team submitted the chargesheet on the 85th day of the crime, he added.

When the reporters asked why the accused had not been imposed with the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act), the chief minister said the investigators slapped Section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code.

It (Sec 153 A) was imposed for creating riots by promoting enmity between different groups, he added.

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Vijayan came out with an explanation a day after the opposition Congress slammed the Left government over the acquittal of three RSS activists in the sensational murder case.

Accusing the police and the prosecution of handling the case poorly, the opposition party on Sunday sought to know if they were released as part of a "secret agreement" between the RSS and CPI(M) for the Lok Sabha polls.

Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan and KPCC acting president M M Hassan urged Chief Minister Vijayan, who handles the Home portfolio, to explain the circumstances that led to the acquittal of the RSS activists.

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The government, however, had made it clear that they would approach the High Court against the verdict pronounced by the Principal Sessions Court in Kasaragod on Saturday.

Mohammed Riyas Maulavi, a 34-year-old muezzin (a person who proclaims the Islamic call to prayer) and a madrassa teacher from Choori near Kasaragod, was found murdered in his room in the mosque on March 20, 2017. His throat was allegedly slit by a gang which had entered the compound of Muhayuddin Juma masjid of Choori.

Kasaragod Principal Sessions Court Judge K K Balakrishnan acquitted Akhilesh, Nidhin, and Ajesh, all three residents of Kelugude, in the case.

The accused spent seven years in jail without bail. PTI LGK KH

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