A local court has sentenced eight persons to life imprisonment for abducting a trader here in 2012 and acquitted three others due to lack of evidence. Sessions Judge A J Mantri at Niphad held eight of the 11 accused guilty of abducting onion trader Shankarlal Mulji Thakka in the district on December 19, 2012 and sentenced them to life imprisonment yesterday.
The Judge also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each. The remaining three accused were acquitted due to want of evidence. According to Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar, Thakkar was kidnapped from his onion ‘chawl’ (place for storing produce) in Pimpalgaon Baswant on December 19, 2012, and an extortion demand of Rs 15 crore was made by the abductors.
The accused had called Thakkar’s brother Karsan and the deal was sealed at Rs 5 crore. The amount was to be handed over to the abductors at Kharshinde village in Ahmednagar district, Misar said.
On a tip off, a Nashik rural police squad along with Ahmednagar police laid a trap and arrested 11 persons, while Thakkar was rescued on December 20 morning. Police had also seized Rs five crore cash, three pistols, some cartridges, a car, two motorcycles and and seven mobile handsets from them.
The special public prosecutor examined 21 witnesses and produced evidences against the 11 accused. The eight persons convicted were – Sachin Patil (25), Tushar Bairagi (20), Mulani Hussain (21), Sagar Gawali (21), Arjun Rahane (25), Yogesh Gadakh (21), Santosh Hatangale (25) and Vishwajit Thete (24). Those acquitted were Sunil Pithe (19), Kondaji Wadekar (21) and Balasaheb Wadekar (24).