Current Affairs

Lack of evidence acquits Sanvordem-Curchorem alleged rioters

The sessions court at Margao on Tuesday acquitted, for lack of evidence, all 40 accused, including two BJP leaders, who faced trial for their alleged involvement in communal riots that rocked Curchorem-Sanvordem in March 2006.

BJP office bearers Satish Dhond and Sharmad Raiturcar and other accused were charged with unlawful assembly, mischief and criminal trespass.

Exonerating the accused, Judge Vijaya Pol observed that the prosecution failed to establish the individual role played by the accused. She stated that merely being a member of the assembly, didn’t establish their crime.

The acquittal was arrived at on four major points of reasoning. Pol, while delivering the judgment, said the prosecution primarily failed to establish that any of the accused was present in the unlawful assembly.

Pol also observed in the judgment that the prosecution could not prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the act or commission on the part of the accused which would make him a member of the unlawful assembly.”

She further said: “Except a bare statement, no proof is produced on record to show that any person was injured in any stone pelting incident. Fourthly, nothing is produced on record to show that any vehicle/property of the members of the Muslim community or any other vehicle/property was damaged in this regard…nor any damaged property/vehicle is attached under Panchnama, no medical/hurt certificate is produced on record to show that any person was injured in the incident, and no person from the Muslim community stepped into the witness box to depose that his/her property and/or vehicle was damaged in the incident.”

During the hearing of the case, the prosecution alleged that on March 3, 2006, between 4.30pm and 9.30pm, the accused, armed with deadly weapons, and with a common intention, formed an unlawful assembly at Cariamoddi area and incited the public against the Muslim community.

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