Ramabai Nagar firing case: Eight rioters acquitted

Fourteen years after the Ramabai Nagar firing incident here, the Sessions Court on Wednesday acquitted eight persons charged with attempt to murder.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 21:28 PM IST

Mumbai: Fourteen years after the Ramabai
Nagar firing incident here, the Sessions Court on Wednesday acquitted
eight persons charged with attempt to murder.

The case relates to police 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
incident.

According to the prosecution, the eight accused, who were
acquitted - Sudevi Giri, Anna Kadam, Vijay Gaikwad, Hiraman
Gaikwad, Sanjay Hire, Ragunath Jadhav, Bapu Kolakkar and
Sanjay Ahire were going to set a tanker ablaze.

"However, they (accused) were at home when the incident
happened," said defence lawyer Rajesh Karamkar, after the verdict.

Karamkar said 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 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
Manohar Kadam.

Kadam, who ordered the firing, said he took the action as
the mob was about set a gas tanker on fire.

The incident led to a hue and cry. The committee headed
by Justice S D Gundewar indicted Kadam for indiscriminate and
needless firing.

The Sessions Court later sentenced Kadam to a life
imprisonment. High Court, hearing his appeal, suspended it and
released him on bail.

PTI