Monday, October 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

6 Shiv Sainiks acquitted in ’93 riot case

Mumbai, October 6
A local court has acquitted six Shiv Sainiks facing the charge of stabbing to death a member of a minority community during communal riots in 1993 here.

Sessions judge Vishwas Rao recently acquitted the Shiv Sainiks who had barged into a house on January 12, 1993, in suburban Malad and dragged two members of a minority community outside to assault them. Abdulla Shaikh was stabbed to death while his brother Allah Baksh Shaikh managed to escape.

Those acquitted were Pramod Bhanushali, Dwarkadas Bhanshali, Pradeep Bhanushali, Jagannath Shetty, Jitendra Bhave and Pasco D’Souza.

According to prosecutor Z A Engineer, a mob of about 25 to 30 persons came to the residence of Shaikh brothers on January 12, 1993, pelted stones and missiles to force their exit. They, however, went away only to return a few hours later.

Meanwhile, the Shaikh brothers had taken shelter in a neighbour’s house. The mob broke open the door and forcibly pulled them outside. Abdulla was attacked with swords, sticks, knives and other lethal weapons while his brother ran away.

When Allah Baksh returned, he saw Abdulla lying in a pool of blood and complained to the police. Initially, he lodged a complaint against unknown persons. After a month, he gave the names of Shiv Sainiks to the cops who registered a case.

Defence lawyer J G Bhanushali, harping on loopholes in the prosecution’s case, argued that the incident had happened in the night when it was dark.

Hence it was difficult to identify the accused. Naming them after a month was an afterthought on the part of the complainant who had done so only to obtain financial help from mohalla committee. PTI 

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