Agartala: A newspaper editor in Tripura in India's northeast, convicted of murdering three of his employees, was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment with the judge noting that it was a 'rarest of the rare case'.
Sushil Chowdhury, 76, the owner and editor of regional daily Dainik Gandoot, was present in court when the order was read out.
Special Public Prosecutor Dilip Sarkar, while initiating the hearing, sought capital punishment for Mr Chowdhury for his direct involvement in the crime.
"Being an editor and owner of the newspaper, he was supposed to protect his employees but instead he killed three of his employees - Ranjit Chowdhury, Balaram Ghosh and Sujit Bhattacharjee," he told the packed court.
Hearing the charges against him, Mr Chowdhury said, "I am innocent, I don't know who has killed them. Please pardon me considering my age."
Additional District and Sessions judge West Tripura Kripankar Chakraborty replied, "It has been proved that you have killed three persons. It was a fit case for hanging the convict but considering his age, the convict Sushil Chowdhury is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for life, means the whole natural life, that is till his death for the offence under section 302 read with 120 (B)/ 109 of IPC and to pay Rs. 50,000 as fine."
Three employees of 'Danik Ganadoot', a vernacular daily were killed inside the newspaper office premises at Palace Compound in the heart of Agartala on May 19 last year sending shock waves across the entire state.
Investigating Officer Manas Paul had submitted a 562-page charge sheet accusing Mr Chowdhury of the gruesome incident before the court.
The additional district and sessions court, after hearing the case, held Mr Chowdhury guilty in the triple murder case on July 14. The verdict sentencing the convict till last day of his natural life was pronounced yesterday.