Two activists of Ul-Umma, a Tamil Nadu-based terrorist outfit banned after the Coimbatore serial blasts of 1988, were on Tuesday sentenced to double life imprisonment by a court in Palakkad after they were found guilty in the murder of a BJP leader.
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The convicted are P Muhammed Sharif and Sayed Habeeb Koya, the first and the fourth accused, respectively, in the case reported in 1996. Last week, the additional session’s court in Palakkad had found four persons guilty of various charges, including murder and fomenting communal hatred. The court issued arrest warrant against the other two accused persons who did not appear before the court.
According to the prosecution, local BJP leader Kollangode Mani was hacked to death as part of Al-Umma’s attempt to demonstrate its clout in the region and avenge the murder of a Muslim in 1990. The accused, hailing from Malappuram and Palakkad districts in Kerala, developed an acquaintance with Mani as real estate brokers. On September 13, 1996, the accused invited Mani to join for hunting in the forest. Mani, who went along with them, was taken to a remote area near his house at Muthalamada and hacked him to death. According to police, this was one of the murder cases in Kerala, in which the role of Ul-Umma was confirmed.