In a historical verdict, Udupi District and Sessions Court Judge Narendra Kumar Gunaki today declared that the naxal convict Yoshodha is innocent and charges against her are unfound.
The verdict came after the long legal battle that went up to eight years following the insufficient evidences produced by the Public Prosecutor to prove the charges against Yashodha.
It can be recalled that in the naxal encounter in the year 2003 that took place in the house of Rama Poojary of Bollattu in Idu village, the police team led by the then SP Murugan were able to nab Yashodha.
The encounter took place during the wee hours on November 17, 2003. In the encounter, two naxalites Parvathi and Hazima were killed and two others Vishnu and Anand went absconding. In the process, two police personnel Manohar and Ashok were seriously injured. Yashodha also suffered injuries in the incident and was admitted in KMC Manipal and a charge sheet was filed against her.
Yashodha hails from Kalasa village of Mudigere taluk. She was produced before court and she was remanded to judicial custody for nearly 3 months and 20 days. However, she was able to come out on bail.
Yashodha’s case was fought by advocate M Shantharam Shetty from Udupi and B N Jagdeesh from Bangalore. Shetty informed media persons that in the time span of 8 years, as many as 40 witnesses including SP Murugan and DCIB Police Inspector Ashokan were prosecuted by the court as witnesses. Public Prosecutor is not able to prove the charges against her that was mentioned in the charge sheet, he added.
The three charges against her include that she was the active member of banned CPM (Maoist) organisation, she had illegal weapons in her custody and she attempted to murder police personnel in the fight thereby obstructing them to perform their duties.
These three charges had no substantive proofs wherein the District Court had come to a conclusion that the charges are far from reality.
Shetty said he argued the case based on the fact that Yashodha was the member of Kudremukh National Park Veerodhi Horata Okkutta and she was in the house of Rama Poojary that night to attend the meeting of the Okkutta. She missed the bus and stayed in the house of Rama Poojary, when the naxal encounter took place. She has no connections with naxals, he added.
Yashodha expressed her happiness by telling that the verdict proves the victory of justice.
I was always a social activist. However, I was wrongly labeled as naxal activist, she said and added “I knew justice will come out in favor of me and I am proved innocent after 8 years of struggle.”
She has plans to fight for the poor people in her village who are being displaced by the forest department.
As many as 43 houses in her village are ruined by the Forest Department and she wants to take up the cause. Yashodha had once contested for Gram Panchayat polls in the year 2002 as BJP and JD(S) coalition candidate. Besides, the verdict has added strength to the dreams of Yashodha, who wants to be termed as social activist as she is now unchained from the charges of naxal activist.
Source: Deccan Herald