A Sewree fast track court has acquitted 14 members of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singhs convoy in a murder case. All 14 were tried in connection with the murder of a Sikh man near a mall in suburban Mulund in 2008. But the prosecutions case fell apart after ballistic reports did not support its contention. All accused have been out on bail since 2008.
The ballistic report clearly indicated that the bullets found lodged in the body of the deceased did not match with the firearm that the police had seized. The report helped the defence prove its case, said defence advocate Atul Wag,who represented seven of the 14 accused.
The main accused,Jagdev Singh allegedly the leader of the group was among those who were acquitted by Sewri Sessions Court Judge N P Dalvi on Monday for lack of evidence after being given the benefit of doubt.
With many loopholes in the investigations,eyewitnesses faltered while testifying before the court. An eyewitness,who was a crucial link in the case,failed to stick to his description of the firing and the manner in which injuries were inflicted on the body of the victim, added Wag. Citing lack of evidence,the court acquitted the 14,who were charged with shooting the man.
The case dates back to June 20,2008,when there was tension in the city after a group of Sikhs got into an altercation with the Dera followers. Balkar Singh (45),one of the protesters,was injured in the firing and died later and two other persons were also injured.
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had submitted that during the visit of Dera Sacha Sauda chief on June 25,2008,his personal bodyguards had allegedly fired at a crowd in Nirmal Lifestyle mall in suburban Mulund in which Balkar was killed.
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