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       Court finds five guilty in Shabeer murder case
         Posted on :09:10:40 Oct 8, 2017
       Last edited on:09:10:40 Oct 8, 2017
         Tags: five, guilty, Shabeer murder

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A district court here found five persons guilty of the murder of Shabeer, a 23-year-old youth, at Vakkom in the outskirts of the city in January last. Principal Sessions Judge Haripal said he would pass sentence next Thursday.

The court cancelled the bail of the accused and remanded them in judicial custody. Those found guilty are Satheesh, Santosh, Vinayak, Kirankumar and Nitin. One of the suspects, Raju, committed suicide during the trial.

The police established local rivalry as the motive for the murder. The offence evoked widespread public revulsion after a raw video of the street-killing surfaced in the social media. A passerby had chanced to capture the savagery of the crime on his mobile phone. The police submitted the grainy and often wobbly video as smoking gun in court. They also named the cell phone owner as a witness.

The prosecution case was that the suspects had waylaid Shabeer and a friend of his near a railway cross on the evening of January 31, 2016, to avenge the attack on one of them.

The police told the court that both the victim and accused were disturbed men from dysfunctional families. They were college dropouts who did odd jobs for a living. All were deeply involved in the traditions and annual festivities of a neighbourhood temple that customarily accepted newly forged swords as an offering. Tradition required the youth to march around the temple with the swords in a warlike fashion.

The temple celebrated a martial tradition that leaned heavily on notions of gung-ho and male bonding. The prosecution detailed in court how temple ground disputes and petty rivalries culminated in Shabeer’s murder. It relied heavily on the statement of Shabeer’s friend who was seriously injured in the fracas.

Circle Inspector G B Mukesh charged the case. The prosecution examined 43 witnesses in the case. It submitted 74 documents, including forensic examination reports, as evidence.

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