Mumbai: Fourteen years after the Ramabai
Nagar firing incident here, the sessions court on Wednesday acquitted
eight persons charged with attempt to murder.
According to the prosecution, the accused - Sudevi Giri,
Anna Kadam, Vijay Gaikwad, Hiraman Gaikwad, Sanjay Hire,
Ragunath Jadhav, Bapu Kolakkar and Sanjay Ahire were going to
set the tanker standing near the spot ablaze.
"However, they (accused) were at home when the incident
happened", said defence lawyer Rajesh Karamkar, talking to PTI
after the verdict.
Karamkar said that when the police opened fire, accused
came out of the houses and sustained bullet injuries, but the
police registered a false case that firing was necessary
because the accused were setting the tanker afire.
Karamkar said that these people did not know that
they had been made accused till 2006, when summons from the
magistrate`s court was served.
Police examined eight witnesses -- including the prime
accused in the firing case, State Reserve Police Force officer
Kadam ordered firing on a Dalit mob which was allegedly
rioting at Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, following the
desecration of Babasaheb Ambedkar`s statue at Rambabai Nagar
on July 11, 1997. Ten people died in the firing.
The incident led to a hue and cry. The committee headed
by Justice S D Gundewar indicted Kadam for indiscriminate and
Kadam had said that he ordered firing because the mob was
about set a gas tanker afire.
The sessions court later sentenced Kadam to a life
imprisonment. High Court, hearing his appeal, suspended it and
released him on bail.