The trial in the infamous Margao Blast began on Thursday morning before the Principal Sessions Judge at Margao with the defence going on the attack by filing a contempt of court application against two persons, one of who is listed as a prosecution witness in the case.
Advocate Sanjiv Punalekar representing the accused contended that Raju Nayak, editor of Lokmat Goa edition and Vasant Bhat, president of Bandora Janajagruti Manch were trying to prejudice the case by terming the accused guilty of the crime.
Punalekar pointed out to the court that Vasant Bhat had signed a pamphlet which was an extract of a report published in the Lokmat terming the accused as guilty and also claiming that he had a jaundiced view about the residents of Bandora.
While claiming that this was an attempt to conduct the trial by media, Punalekar also claimed that the reports and the pamphlets which were distributed in various households in Bandora would prejudice the trial as the witnesses stepping in the box will be under the impression that the accused are already guilty.
A political colour was added to the case with Punalekar stating that the Lokmat is owned by Congress Party and that Vasant Bhat is an active Congress worker and that the duo were conducting a media trial to divert attention from the anti-Hindu strategies of the Congress Party.
In another development, the four accused – Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar – moved an application seeking to be housed in one cell in the judicial lock up they are presently housed in.
The court is expected to pronounce its order on both these applications at the next hearing which is scheduled for 29th September.
Meanwhile, the Prosecution examined Dr. Mandar Kantak, from Goa Medical College’s Forensic Department. Dr Kantak had conducted the post mortem on the two persons – Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik – who had died in the blast that occurred last year on the eve of Diwali when Margao was gearing for the Narkasur Vadh competition.
Dr. Kanatak explained the various injuries found the dead persons’ bodies and also enlightened the court about their implications.
While the trail against the above named four has commenced, charge sheet against two other accused – Prashant Ashtekar and Prashant Juwekar – who were arrested subsequently, will be filed only after the investigations are completed, said Special Prosecutor S B Faria.