Court hands down jail sentence to three convicted in murder of environment activist Dilip MahatoTwo convicts sentenced to a 25-year in prison, another to 12 years.
The Dhanusha District Court on Friday handed down a 25-year jail term to two persons convicted of murdering environment activist Dilip Kumar Mahato of Dhanusha.
A bench of Judge Chitra Bahadur Gurung sentenced Bipin Mahato and Munindra Mahato to 25 years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs500,000 each.
The court also sentenced Jitendra Mahato to 12 years in prison, a fine of Rs250,000 and ordered him to pay Rs200,000 in compensation to the victim’s family.
Bipin and Munindra were charged with intent to kill, while Jitendra was named as complicit in the crime.
The court on February 16 had convicted them of murdering Mahato. The court, however, had given a clean chit to crusher operator Binod Mahato, and workers Satya Narayan Mahato, Shatrudhan Mahato, and Roshan Kumar Mahato who were also accused in the case.
Twenty-four-year-old Mahato, who had been protesting against the illegal mining of Aurahi riverbed material for two years, was dragged and killed by a tipper truck in the wee hours on January 10, 2020.
Dilip had returned home only two weeks ago from Bhopal in India, where he was pursuing a bachelor of engineering degree. Dilip was in the last semester of his course and about to graduate.
From the very beginning, Dilip had argued that harvesting the river of its sand, stones and boulders would place his village at risk of flooding. Dilip’s relatives had said he was repeatedly threatened but he took it lightly.
Following the incident, police had remanded four of the alleged perpetrators of the tipper attack in judicial custody for five days. The Dhanusha District Court had issued the order to keep the accused—Bipin Mahato, Munindra Mahato, Jitendra Mahato and Roshan Kumar Yadav—in custody pending a police investigation.