On January 1 each year, lakhs of people, including members of the Dalit community, visit the Jaystambh, or war memorial, to commemorate the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, in which a British Army with a contingent of Mahars defeated the Peshwa regime in 1818.
The ATS is the third agency after the CBI and the Karnataka SIT to name the Sanatan Sanstha in a chargesheet. While the CBI has named the Sanstha in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, Karnataka SIT has named the organisation in its chargesheet in the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
On Wednesday, Special Public Prosecutor BP Raju blamed delay in investigation and the 12-year-long gap between the incident and the deposition of witnesses for affecting the evidence against the accused.
The CBI has claimed that Pandya, who was on leave during the said period, was directed by IPS officer D G Vanzara — an accused in the case who has been discharged by the court — to cancel his leave and join the team for the encounter.
In less than two hours, Special Public Prosecutor B P Raju concluded his submissions against the 22 accused facing trial, summarising the evidence given by 210 prosecution witnesses, 92 of which have turned hostile.
The prosecutor’s plea stated that the woman’s father had got his two daughters married when they were children and also taken the complainant forcefully from the house of deceased and sent her to the house of person whom she had married when she was a child.
All IPS officers among the 38 initially booked as accused have been discharged from the case. The current 22 accused include officials who held the ranks of police constables, sub-inspectors, assistant inspectors, inspectors and a deputy superintendent.
The agency has alleged that Shaikh attended the conspiracy meeting in January-February 1993 in Dubai, where other convicted accused, including the late Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Khan and others, were present.
According to the FIR, in September 2014, the accused took her to his uncle’s house and had sexual intercourse after promising to marry her. The victim had said the accused had initially proposed marriage but as his parents were not ready, he backed off and, hence, she lodged the complaint.