An additional district sessions court in Thrissur Wednesday found beedi tycoon Muhammed Nisham guilty of ramming his Hummer car into a security guard, leading to his death, in an incident at Sobha City apartments here last year.
The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment Thursday. Nisham pleaded for mercy, but the prosecution, arguing that it was a “rarest of the rare” case, said he should get maximum punishment. The prosecution said Nisham is a threat to society. Nisham, on his part, said he heads a joint family and pleaded for a lenient treatment.
On the night of January 29, 2014, Nisham crashed his SUV into security guard K Chandrabose and pinned him against a concrete wall, reportedly over a delay in opening the gates of Sobha City, where Nisham lives. After ramming him against a wall, he dumped Chandrabose at the back of the Hummer and drove to the parking area of the apartment complex, where he further assaulted him.
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Police rushed Chandrabose to Amala hospital in Thrissur where he later died. Then, police charged Nisham with murder.
The attack leading to the security guard’s death exposed the criminal history of Nisham, who had allegedly been involved in 11 cases, but managed to escape prosecution. While an undertrial in the murder case, Nisham was listed as a goon after the state police slapped relevant sections of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act. Accordingly, he was consigned to jail without any trial for six months.
Nisham moved Supreme Court with a bail plea, which the court rejected, observing that the case showed the rich were becoming egocentric.
When the trial began, prime prosecution witness K C Anoop, a colleague of Chandrabose, turned hostile. He said he had not seen Chandrabose being hit by the vehicle driven by Nisham. The statement triggered ruckus, forcing Anoop to correct it. When the trial resumed, Anoop told the court that he had diluted his statement under duress from Nisham’s family, and went back to the original version in which he said he had seen Chandrabose being attacked by Nisham.
The case also triggered ripples in the police department. Former Kerala DGP K S Balasubramaniam faced allegations that he tried to protect Nisham. Then Thrissur city police commissioner Jacob Job was suspended for a secret meeting with Nisham.