Bombay HC Acquits 3 Murder Accused Over “Religious Provocation”

The court said the three were provoked by inflammatory speeches and had no prior criminal record.

2 min read
(Photo: iStock)

The Bombay High court granted bail to three men accused of attacking and murdering a Muslim man after attending a Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) meeting in Pune, according to an Indian Express report.

The fact that the deceased belonged to another religion is in favour of the accused, who were provoked in the name of the religion and seem to have committed the murder.
Bombay High Court

The court said that the accused had no criminal record prior to the attack and it was the meeting which sparked communal tensions.

The meeting was held prior to the incident of assault. The accused, otherwise, had no other motive, such as any personal enmity, against the innocent deceased. The only fault of the deceased was that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the accused. Moreover, the accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that they were provoked in the name of the religion and have committed murder.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar

On 2 June 2014, a meeting of the right wing Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) was held in Hadsapur, Pune, over the alleged defiling of a statue of Shivaji Maharaj.

The complaint stated that one of the co-accused, Dhananjay Desai allegedly gave inflammatory speeches at the event. After the event, the three accused, including Desai, roamed the area, armed with weapons.

The deceased, Shaikh Mohsin, his brother Riyaz and his colleague Wasim were in the area for dinner. The accused saw Mohsin with a beard in a green shirt and attacked him and his friend Wasim with hockey sticks, bats and stones, according to the police.

Riyaz managed to escape but Mohsin, who was riding the bike, was severely injured. When Riyaz rushed back to the spot, he found his brother beaten up and mangled. He sought help from a passerby who informed the police, but by the time Mohsin was shifted to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.

A complaint was filed against the three assailants, who were arrested on charges of murder and causing a riot.

The accused’s counsel pleaded they were innocent, claiming they weren’t present at the time of the incident. He argued that others who had an identical role in the incident had been let off on bail and so the three accused should also meet the same lenient fate.

The prosecution argued on the side of sanity, claiming they should not be given bail, for they took the life of an innocent man.

From the record and the statements of the witnesses, it is apparent that the accused were present at the meeting. The court, while earlier rejecting Desai’s bail, have referred to his speech and stated that it was sufficient to incite the feelings of religious discrimination in the crowd.
Bombay High Court

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