Special Judge (MCOCA) SS Gadge on Saturday acquitted 12 persons belonging to the Bharne gang owing to lack of evidence,discrepancy in evidence and benefit of doubt. They were accused of murdering Ananta Bajirao Padale (38),former sarpanch of Mhalunge village and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) worker,in 2007.
The court has acquitted Amol Hanumant Yadav (30),Bhaiya alias Malhari Vishwanath Longare (26),Laxman Suryakant Pawar (33),Santosh Abhimanyu Gade (35),Santosh Ashok Shinde (33),all residents of Solapur,Rakesh Popat Bharne (35),Vijay Kailash Bhosale (29),both residents of Maangaon,Jaideep Sampat Mane (36) of Thergaon,Sanjay Madhukar Kumkar (37) of Kasarwadi,Suraj Shivaji Wadghare (24) and Chetan Jaysinh Nikalje (24) of Mhalunge,and Ashok Shantaram Sawant (37) of Talegaon Dabahde.
On April 20,2007,around 2 pm,Padale was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne persons at Ahimsa Chowk in Chinchwad. As per the chargesheet,Padale were going on a motorcycle to the sub-registrars office in Chinchwad. Three of the suspects,Gade,Yadav and Shinde,were following Padale. He had stopped at Ahimsa Chowk and was talking on phone when he was allegedly fired at. All the accused were in touch with each other on mobile phone.
They were arrested and charged under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy),302 (murder),201 (destruction of evidence),34 (common intention) of the IPC,Arms Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Bombay Police Act.