A Muzaffarnagar court on Tuesday sentenced seven persons to death for killing a youth and injuring three others during a clash over a volleyball match in Harsauli village eight years ago. Three others had been sentenced to ten years in prison on Monday.
The government counsel said the court called the case “rarest of rare” because the incident took place in public view.
The seven convicts served death sentences — Sadiq, Shahid, Arshad, Rashid, Sarfaraz, Farukh and Mumtaz — have been lodged in Muzaffarnagar jail since their arrests in 2010.
The prosecution said that on February 25, 2010, two local residents — Khaleel and Sarfaraz — got into an argument while playing volleyball in the village. Hours later, the convicts reached Khaleel’s house and opened fire, leaving four persons injured. Local residents rushed to the spot on hearing the gunshots, but the assailants had escaped by then.
Khaleel, his two brothers Naseem and Rehan and their nephew Shakil alias Shakir, were rushed to hospital. Naseem was declared dead on arrival.
An FIR was later registered on the basis of a complaint by another of Khaleel’s brothers, Irfan, against the seven at Shahpur police station. They were arrested soon after.
The prosecution further said that a month after the incident, convict Sarfaraz’s father Shaukat Ali filed a complaint at Shahpur police station alleging that on the day of the clash, Khaleel, Shakil and Rehan had attacked Sarfaraz when the latter was on his way to the market to purchase medicine. A case was registered on attempt to murder charges on March 2, 2010, on the direction of senior police officials.
“On Monday, a local court of Muzaffarnagar sentenced Khaleel, Rehan and Shakil to 10 years in prison. All three persons were taken in custody after the court held them guilty on November 14. They are presently in jail,” government counsel, Kamal Kumar.
“Additional district and sessions judge Rajesh Bhardwaj awarded death sentence to seven persons. In all, nine prosecution witnesses, including the three injured, were examined by the court,” he added.