November 22, 2016 3:11:27 am
Over four years after the riots at Azad Maidan, the trial is yet to begin in the case. On August 11, 2012, a rally called to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar had turned violent leading to two deaths and injuries to 52, including police personnel guarding the venue. While the Mumbai Police filed its chargesheet in the case the same year, the court is yet to frame charges against the 57 booked in the case.
Some of the accused initially charged by the police had been discharged after it was found that they were not present at the venue during the incident. The discharge applications filed by many of the accused are pending before the sessions court.
The chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police, which was being led by Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik at that time, included statements of police personnel and media persons present at the venue. A lawyer related to the case who did not wish to be named said that the case will be heard next in January.
A petition filed before the Bombay High Court on the amount to be paid by the organisers and attendees of the rally to the state government towards damage to public property is also pending. Under the Bombay Police Act, an assessment of the damages due to violence was done by the state government through the collector.
“While the initial cost of the damages was Rs 2.74 crore, it was later reduced to Rs 36 lakhs. Our plea before the HC is that the actual damage is much more and it should be levied,” said advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar who has filed the petition before the HC.
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