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94-year-old among two men convicted in 1973 dacoity case


A court in Jhansi has convicted two men, including a 94-year-old, in a dacoity case that was lodged at the district’s Uldan police station over 47 years ago.

The anti-dacoity court on Saturday sentenced Budhwa Lodhi, 94, and Heera Lal, both of whom were out on bail. While Lodhi received a five-year prison sentence, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Lal, who did not appear in court.

“Special Judge Mamta Gupta convicted Budhwa Lodhi and Heera Lal in the case. The court sentenced Budhwa Lodhi, who was present in court, to five years imprisonment after which he was taken into custody. The court issued an NBW against Heera Lal, who did not appear in court,” Special Prosecutor Vipin Kumar Mishra said on Sunday. The prosecution examined 12 witnesses during the trial, he added.

When asked why it took so long to decide the case, Mishra said, “The accused moved Allahabad High Court a few times for relief. Since documents related to the case were also sent to the High Court to decide on the accused’s petition, the trial in Jhansi got delayed.”

The case was based on the statement of complainant Nathu Ram. He told the police that around midnight on July 22, 1973, six men scaled the wall of his house and went up to the terrace, where he and his family were sleeping. They forcibly took them to the ground floor of the house and thrashed the family when it refused to tell them where the ornaments are kept. The accused allegedly beat them with sticks and an axe, seriously injuring the complainant and his wife Draupti. The assailants then broke open the family’s locker and escaped with jewellery.

The following morning, Nathu Ram got the case lodged. During the investigation, the police identified the accused and arrested them. They were charged with dacoity and assault. The accused, however, got out of prison on bail. In 1975, the police filed a chargesheet against them. During the trial, four of the accused, identified as Kallu, Bhabhuti, Bataya Kachi and Ananta, died, according to prosecutor Vipin Mishra.

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