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Calcutta court awards life imprisonment to main accused in 2011 Bengal hooch tragedy

Khora Badshah's sentence was based on the complaints filed in connection with 64 out of 172 deaths caused by the incident. Seven other co-accused were acquitted for lack of proof.

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Kolkata: A court here on Monday awarded life imprisonment to Khora Badshah, the main accused in 2011 hooch tragedy that claimed 172 lives.

Badshah, alias Nur Islam Fakir, was handed over his sentence on Monday based on the complaints filed in connection with the 64 deaths that were registered in Magrahat police station.

He is already serving life term in another case related to the tragedy, which was filed in Usthi police station.

The Alipore district and sessions court convicted him of murder during the day.

The sixth additional district judge ordered that Badshah will undergo imprisonment until death.

He was found guilty of poisoning people and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Badshah was also convicted under IPC sections 273 (sale of noxious food or drink), 326 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and provisions under the Bengal Excise Act.

His sentences will run concurrently, the court said.

Seven other co-accused were acquitted for lack of conclusive proof of their involvement in the crime.

Claiming that the matter fell in the category of rarest of rare cases, the prosecution had demanded capital punishment for the convict.

At least 172 people died and many others suffered permanent disability like blindness at Magrahat, Usthi and Mandirbazar in South 24 Parganas district on December 14, 2011 after consuming spurious liquor at hooch dens run by Badshah, the prosecution submitted before the court.

Badshah, who had earned the sobriquet Khora’ (lame) for his disabled leg, claimed he was innocent.

His lawyer said they will move the high court against the conviction and the sentence.

Family members of the victims, mostly daily wagers, said they would have been happier if Badshah was given capital punishment.


Also read: ‘1 by 1 we started falling ill’ — Aligarh hooch victims recall trauma, say want jobs, not cash


 

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