AGARTALA, July 17 � Editor-cum-proprietor of a Bengali daily � Danik Ganadoot � in Tripura, Sushil Chowdhury, who was pronounced guilty in triple murder case by a local court, was sentenced till his last day of life here today.
Special Public Prosecutor Dilip Sarkar, while initiating the hearing, sought capital punishment for the convict for his direct hand in the heinous crime- triple murder case. �Being an editor and owner of the newspaper, he was supposed to protect his employees but in stead he killed three of his employees- Ranjit Chowdhury, Balaram Ghosh and Sujit Bhattacharjee, he told the court.
Hearing the �allegations� against him in a jam-packed court room here, the convict claimed, �I am innocent, I don�t know who has killed them. Please pardon me considering my age- 76�.
However, Addl District and Sessions judge, West Tripura Kripankar Chakraborty replied, �It has been proved that you have killed three persons�.
Terming the case rarest of rare case, the judge said, �It was a fit case for hanging the convict but considering his age, the convict namely Sushil Chowdhury is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life, means the whole natural life, ie till his death for the offence under section 302 read with 120 (B)/ 109 of IPC and to pay Rs. 50,000 as fine�. Three employees of Danik Ganadoot, a vernacular daily were killed inside the newspaper office premises at Palace Compound, heart of the city on May 19, last year, shocking the entire state.
After carrying out in-depth investigation, Investigating Officer Manas Paul had submitted a 562-page charge sheet accusing Sushil Chowdhury for the gruesome incident before the Addl District and Sessions court.
The Addl District and Sessions court, after hearing the case, found Sushil Chowdhury guilty in the triple murder case on July 14. Today, the court pronounced the verdict sentencing the convict till last day of his natural life.
IANS reports: Choudhury, who was allegedly involved in several other offences earlier, along with one of his woman employees Niyoti Ghosh, was arrested weeks after the murder of the three employees.
Niyoti Ghosh, 35, wife of Balaram Ghosh, the slain driver of the newspaper�s office vehicle, turned approver in the case and was let off from the case.
She was arrested with Choudhury but during the course of investigation, she provided valuable clues to police. The investigating officer then told her that she could turn approver, an offer she accepted.
Niyoti�s husband Balaram Ghosh, manager Ranjit Choudhury, a former Border Security Force employee, and proof reader Sujit Bhattacharjee were murdered on May 19 last year in the newspaper�s office here.
Niyoti Ghosh and her 13-year-old daughter witnessed the murder of Balaram Ghosh, who was stabbed to death. The family lived in the same building in which the newspaper office was situated.
�The killing was related to property dispute and illicit affairs,� investigating officer Manas Paul told reporters. He added that 41 witnesses were examined during the year-long trial.
�With the judgment of the court, people would maintain their confidence on police,� the young police officer said.
Choudhury�s wife and daughters, who were present in the court when the judgment was pronounced, broke down inside the crowded court.
Choudhury, who had accompanied presidents and prime ministers in more than 80 foreign trips, had authored a book on his journeys with the high dignitaries.