The district court in Bihar’s Samastipur on Wednesday sentenced 13 persons, including Lok Janshakti Party’s Rosera block president Swayamwar Yadav, to life imprisonment for the murder of journalist Vikas Ranjan, the Times of India .
Ranjan, who worked for a vernacular daily, was shot dead outside his office in Rosera on November 25, 2008, over a land dispute with his relatives. He had reportedly exposed irregularities in a report published in his newspaper.
In total, additional district judge Rajiv Ranjan Sahay pronounced 14 persons guilty on September 15 in connection with Ranjan's murder. However, one of those convicted "evaded arrest" after the verdict. The remaining 13 were sentenced yesterday.
quoted the prosecution lawyer, Heera Devi, as saying: "The dispute was with cousins of his village and they had hatched a conspiracy and hired goons to kill him. We produced strong evidence, including audio and video clips, to the court. The accused persons had threatened Vikas Ranjan and his family members with dire consequences several times. We produced eye witnesses to the incident in court, which finally helped the victim’s family get justice."