After 34 years, a sessions court on Tuesday acquitted all the five accused, including a sitting BJP corporator, in the murder of a police constable during the anti-reservation riots in 1985 in Ahmedabad. The court held that the prosecution could not prove the charges and hence, due to want of evidence, the accused can’t be convicted.
The Sessions Judge Ambalal R Patel pronounced the judgment acquitting all the five accused – BJP corporator from Khadia Mayur Dave, Vijay Shah, Madhukar V Shah, Kiran Shah, among others. There were a total of 11 accused in this case, including BJP leader Ashok Bhatt, former Union minister Harin Pathak, among others. Bhatt was abated after he passed away while Pathak was discharged.
In the month of April 1985, riots had broken out in various parts of Ahmedabad following the protest against reservation policy of the then government. There were curfews in some parts of the city. At Pakhalini pole near Chhabila Hanuman, the curfew had been relaxed and a group of people had gathered. According to the prosecution, this group attacked police constables deployed at the scene.
It was alleged that police constable Laxman J Desai who was attacked with sharp weapons died on his way to hospital. It was alleged that Desai was also hit by cycle chain. In the FIR it was alleged that Bhatt and Pathak had incited the mob to attack police who had beaten up the agitators.
“The prosecution failed to prove any of the charges. There was no evidence to back the accusation and therefore, the court acquitted the accused,” said defence lawyer Chetan Shah.