Bombay HC seeks report on Sangli-Miraj riots



Mumbai: Stating that investigation of riot cases are generally "politically motivated", the Bombay High Court today sought a report on probe of 2009 communal clashes in Sangli, in western Maharashtra.

The High Court order came in response to PIL filed by Sangli-based Samit Kadam, a member of Jan Surajya party, seeking CBI investigation.

The clashes broke out in Sangli and nearby Miraj during Ganesh festival in September 2009 over erection of arch depicting historical scene of Shivaji slaying Afzal Khan.

As per the PIL, 131 cases were registered after the clashes, but very few culprits were actually arrested.

The petition contends that riots were incited by some people in view of the state Assembly elections which followed in October 2009.

Commenting on this, division bench of Acting Chief Justice J N Patel and S C Dharmadhikari said, "Our observation is that investigation in such cases is always politically motivated...You ultimately hold police officers responsible, making them scapegoats".

The court sought response of current Superintendent of police, Sangli, to the PIL, and a report on probe.

Earlier this month, outgoing SP, Krishna Prakash, had stated that Mainuddin Bagwan, local NCP leader and then mayor of Miraj, was responsible for the riots.

-PTI