A sessions court today awarded life sentence to suspended State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) officer Manohar Kadam in 1997 Ramabai firing case after observing that the convict had "knowledge of the consequences" of opening fire at a mob that had resulted in killing of 10 persons.
Kadam has been convicted of culpable homicide amounting to murder for opening fire at a Dalit mob on July 11, 1997 at Ramabai Nagar in suburban Govandi. The mob was protesting the desecration of a statue of Dalit icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Sessions judge S Y Kulkarni while delivering the judgement observed that Kadam, during course of the trial, has failed to justify his decision to open fire at the mob and had full knowledge of the consequences of his act.
"All the victims sustained bullet injuries above their waist which shows the accused had not studied the situation before opening fire. More care was expected to be taken by the accused, who was a police inspector," the court stated. The court further observed that Kadam, before opening fire, should have established "what the situation was, what were the circumstances and what would have been the consequences of his decision".
The death of ten persons is a homicidal case and Kadam has to be punished for culpable homicide amounting to murder, as he had both knowledge and intention," the court stated.
After his conviction, Kadam stood in the witness box and requested the court to show leniency in punishment arguing that he had decided to open fire looking at the situation and the mob which was going on a rampage.
"I have a son and daughter to look after. In my 36 years of police service I have not erred anytime. On that day I only performed by duty as the circumstances compelled me to take the decision," he told the court.