Thane blast: Prosecution did not prove terror act

The sessions court had convicted two members of the Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha for bomb blasts in Thane and Panvel in 2008.

Mumbai: The sessions court here, which
convicted two members of the Hindu right-wing group Sanatan
Sanstha for bomb blasts in Thane and Panvel in 2008, last
month, has said the case was not that of a terrorist act.

"It is nowhere in the case of prosecution that the
accused, by their acts, intended to threaten unity, integrity,
security or sovereignty of India," the court said. Detailed
copy of the judgement was available on Friday.

"The alleged motive of the crime is objection to
performance of the drama `Aamhi Pachpute` for alleged mockery
of Hindu Gods in it. It appears to be only against the
producer of the drama," the court said.

Ramesh Hanumant Gadkari and Vikram Vinay Bhave were found
guilty of lesser offences under IPC and Explosive Substances
Act for causing low-intensity blasts in which eight persons
were injured but were acquitted of more serious charges of
attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and various provisions
of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The sessions court
acquitted four others for want of evidence.

The court has noted that though police`s application for
destruction of gelatin sticks and detonators had been
rejected, the investigating officer (IO) Bhimrao Rathod still
went on to destroy the material.

It also said there was no evidence on record to establish
that the accused were against the screening of the film "Jodha
Akbar "for distortion" of historical facts and hence no motive
was proved in respect of the incident at Cineraj Theatre.

"Considering the nature of explosion, injuries at Gadkari
Rangayatan and the intent of Gadkari and Bhave (which) was
only to create fear in the mind of the producer of the said
drama... the offence under section 307 was not attracted
against the accused," it has said.

The Thane blast had occurred on June 4, 2008, to protest
the staging of the Marathi play while the bomb planted at
Cineraj cinema hall in Panvel on February 20, 2008, was
detected and defused. Another blast had taken place outside
Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium in Vashi on May 31, 2008.