Kasargod, Nov 21: Imam Hussein (53), convict in the killing of couple of Devaloka, from Kasargod about twenty years ago has been declared sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment by the additional district and sessions court II here on November 21.
Imam hailing from Sagar in Shimoga, was convicted on Tuesday November 19 of murdering Srikrishna Bhat and his wife in 1993.
Judge Balan, delivering the verdict, also ordered Imam to pay a penalty of Rs 1.5 lac to the murdered couple’s three sons, who are now grown up.
During the hearing on Thursday, he pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he has six children out of whom five are girls staying in a rented house.
Police were on the lookout for Imam ever since the crime took place, but could not find him. The investigating team, unable to find the accused, had given up the search. The Badiadka police had investigated the incident in the beginning but made no progress. Though the search continued at a fast pace, Hussain could not be traced.
In 1993 Imam was staying at Mangalore and he was doing black magic and astrology. Shrikanth Bhat and his wife sow the advertisement in the newspaper and they invited him to their resident. He made them believe that there was a treasure in their house. Then he murdered Bhat and buried him in the same pit, which was dug by them to get the treasury out. He then came back and strangled his wife and fled away with their valuables.
The accused was known by various names in Karnataka, Maharashtra and other states. The police team had gone to Shimoga to find him, but he had escaped with a whisker as the information got leaked. He then started working in Bangalore as a street vendor by the name Tajuddin.
However, he was arrested on April 20, 2012 after 19 years. The court has pronounced its verdict after one and half years of court arguments. There were 68 witnesses in the case, but over the years, due to deaths and other reasons, the number of witnesses was reduced to 39.
The accused was subjected to identification parade at Kasargod sub jail and the witnesses clearly identified him.
The couple was murdered by Imam Hussain under the belief that there was treasure in the premises of their house. Imam Hussain was accused of six crimes including murder, robbery, conspiracy to robbery, illegal trespass, break-in and destruction of evidence.
The three sons of the deceased couple were present in the court to hear the verdict.