A special MP-MLA court sentenced Jharkhand Congress MLA Mamta Devi and 12 others to rigorous imprisonment for five years for opening fire during an agitation at a private industrial firm six years ago in which two persons lost their lives.
The court pronounced the quantum of punishment on Tuesday after finding them guilty on December 8.
With the pronouncement of the verdict, Mamta Devi who is a lawmaker of Ramgarh will be disqualified from the Jharkhand Assembly.
There are 16 Congress MLAs in the 81-member house at present. Congress is a partner in the ruling UPA alliance which is helmed by Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
The MLA and the others were sentenced to imprisonment under various sections of the IPC by the 4th Additional District and Sessions Judge of the Special MP-MLA Court, Kumar Pawan.
They were also found guilty of rioting and voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant in the discharge of his duty and were sentenced to two years of additional imprisonment. The two punishments will run concurrently.
They were slapped with a fine of Rs 10000 each. Failure to pay the fine would keep them behind bars for an additional six months.
The court did not, however, say anything about the fate of Mamata Devi’s four-month-old child.
The accused were not present in the court during the pronouncement of the judgment and were produced via video conferencing from Hazaribag Central Jail.
In all 15 persons were named in the FIR lodged at Rajrappa police station in Ramgarh district in 2016. Of them died during the trial and another accused, Raju Sao is still on the run.
The rest, 13 including the Congress MLA were taken into custody on December 8 after the court found them guilty.
The firing had taken place during a sit-in outside the gates of a private factory at Ramgarh where work was paralysed due to labour dispute. When the police reached the spot a mob led by Mamta Devi and others fired on them wounding a magistrate and five policemen. The police retaliated and opened fire in which two persons wre killed and eight injured.
The chargesheet in the case was submitted within the stipulated period in the Ramgarh court on January 17, 2017, and the case was later transferred to the MP-MLA Special Court at Hazaribag.
After the verdict, the Congress said it will move the Jharkhand High Court.
JPCC working president Shahzada Anwar, who met Mamta Devi in jail, said she had become the victim of a political conspiracy of the then BJP-AJSU government as she had raised her voice for the local people.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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