Nimbalkar murder: Family seeks transfer of trial to Mumbai

Anandibai Nimbalkar, wife of the deceased, has written an application seeking stay on the trial presently being conducted at the Alibaug sessions court.

Mumbai: Alarmed by the number of witnesses
turning hostile in the 2006 murder case of Congress leader
Pawanraje Nimbalkar, the family of the deceased has approached
the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of trial from Alibaug
to Mumbai.

Anandibai Nimbalkar, wife of the deceased, has written an
application seeking stay on the trial presently being
conducted at the Alibaug sessions court and its transfer to a
court in Mumbai.

Earlier, the CBI, which is probing the case, had also
filed an affidavit before the high court alleging that
Padamsinh was using his influence to exert pressure on the
witnesses in the case.

NCP MP from Osmanabad, Padamsinh Patil is the prime
accused in the case.

According to the affidavit filed by CBI in its petition
seeking cancellation of bail granted to Patil by a Sessions
court, six of the prosecution witnesses turned hostile while
deposing before the trial court.

"The witnesses have gone back on their earlier statements
given to the CBI because of the pressure tactics adopted by
the respondent (Patil), who is a sitting MP from Osmanabad
constituency and is highly influential," the affidavit filed
by Samar Rana, deputy superintendent of police, CBI said.

In her application, Anandibai has said that three more
witnesses had turned hostile after filing of the affidavit.

"Even after the affidavit was filed, three more witnesses
turned hostile. As of today, nine witnesses, out of the total
34, have refused to depose against the accused and have been
declared hostile," the application says.

It further alleges that the witnesses are being
intimidated by powerful politicians, "who are well-connected
with gangsters".

"The prime accused Padamsinh Patil is a big gun, who
wields considerable clout with political higher-ups. Witnesses
are being continuously threatened that they too would face the
same fate as the deceased, if they dare to depose in court,"
the application alleges.

The application also seeks direction to police to provide
necessary security to all the witnesses in the case. The
application is likely to be heard next week.

Patil, who was arrested in June 2009, was granted bail
by Alibaug sessions court in September the same year, after
which the CBI approached the high court challenging the order.

The trial in the case commenced in July last year and
the prosecution has so far examined 20 witnesses.

According to the CBI, Patil had hatched a conspiracy
to murder Nimbalkar, as he viewed the latter`s rise in
political scene as a threat to him.

Patil allegedly hired killers for Rs 30 lakh to eliminate
Nimbalkar, who, along with his driver was shot dead on June 3,
2006 at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai.

Other accused in the case include Latur-based businessman
Satish Mandade, corporator Mohan Shukla, Parasmal Jain, former
state excise inspector Shashikant Kulkarni, Bahujan Samaj
Party worker Kailash Yadav, alleged shooters Dinesh Tiwari,
Pintu Singh and Chote Pandey.


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