Former UP minister gets life for murder

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Lucknow, April 10 (IANS) Senior minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government Ram Karan Area was on Monday sentenced to a life term in a murder case besides being fined Rs 20,000.

As soon as the court in Basti, Uttar Pradesh, pronounced the life sentence on the former Excise Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, he was taken into custody by the police.

Eight other accused were, however, set free by district and sessions judge Anil Kumar Pundeer, giving them the benefit of doubt. One of the accused had died during the trial.

The matter pertained to the killing in broad daylight of Shambhupal, a cousin of BJP MP Jagdambika Pal, in November 1994. At that time, Area was a legislator and he was accused of conspiring in the murder as he and the victim had had a tiff in the past. Arya was twice a minister in the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state and a four-time legislator.

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