The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to interfere in the government’s decision to let off police officer Sandeep Karnik, saying no material was available on record to show that the lone farmer who died during the Maval agitation in 2011 fell victim due to the bullet fired by the officer.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist I G Khandelwal, seeking an FIR against Sandip Karnik, who led the team at Maval. The court disposed of the PIL, asking the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned.
The petitioner in the case had told the court that the reports submitted by him showed that a woman was killed by a bullet fired by then Superintendent of Police Karnik. The court had earlier said that while the fact was not considered by the MG Gaikwad Commission, which probed the incident, even the state did not look into the aspect.
A one-member commission, headed by Justice (retd) M G Gaikwad, had concluded that the firing was not at all justified and indicted four officers — former SP Sandeep Karnik, inspectors Ashok Patil and Yashwant Gawari, and PSI Ganesh Mane.
The incident took place in August 2011, when several farmers protesting against the construction of a pipeline from the Pavana reservoir to Pimpri-Chinchwad had staged a road blockade on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway at Maval.
Later, it came to light that the police opened fire to disperse the crowd without following the standard operating procedure.