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Mumbai: Attack on magazine office; court acquits 4
December 02, 2007 14:28 IST
A sessions court has acquitted four persons, including a Shiv Sena member, in an attack case on the India Today office in South Mumbai two years ago.
Sena chief Bal Thackeray had allegedly issued a diktat to his partymen of not allowing then Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar into the state after the latter had directed the removal of a plaque commemorating Veer Savarkar from the Cellular Jail premises in the Andamans.
The Sainiks had allegedly attacked the office on March 11, 2005 in protest of a seminar organised by India Today Group, where Aiyar was to speak.
Additional Sessions Judge G W Awarsomoal acquitted Shiv Sena member and Bombay Hospital Union general secretary Sanjay Sawant, Manish Sawant, Ashok Bhalerao and Bharti Pawar, who were arrested in connection with the attack, as prosecution failed to bring substantive evidence against the accused.
The case was registered with the Marine Drive police station against 15 persons on charges of rioting and dacoity. The prosecution, however, failed to prove the scene of offence, unlawful assembly and that Sawant and the other four were part of that assembly, defence lawyer Hemant Kenjalkar said.
Motive of the offence was not established by prosecution and doubts arose as there were no independent witnesses from the building and nearby offices, he added.