Former Shiv Sena MP, two others convicted for Mumbai riotsJuly 9th, 2008 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, July 9 (IANS) A special court here Wednesday found a Shiv Sena leader and former parliamentarian and two of his colleagues guilty of inciting violence during the 1992-93 communal riots and sentenced them to one year’s imprisonment. Madhukar Sarpotdar, the former MP, Jaywant Parab and Ashok Shinde were also fined Rs.5000 each for their involvement in the riots.
Parab, who was a Sena shakha pramukh (local unit leader), defected to the Congress nearly four years ago, along with former Sena chief minister Narayan Rane.
Three others accused in the same case, Shantaram Sadvilkar, Unmesh Pawar and Pradeep Khanvilkar were acquitted, their lawyer J.P. Bagoria told IANS.
Magistrate R.C. Bapat-Sarkar found the Sarpotdar and two others guilty under Sec 153-A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with promoting between different groups on grounds of religion, race.
Immediately after the verdict, Sarpotdar, Shinde and Parab applied for bail, which was granted. The conviction order has been stayed till Aug 16 to enable them challenge it in a higher court, according to Bagoria.
The prosecution contended that Dec 27, 1992, the trio, along with their associates Ramesh Pawar and K.P. Naik, were present with the trustees of a neighbourhood social organisation when a mob assembled outside a temple in the communally sensitive Behrampada slums and Nirmal Nagar in Bandra East.
The gathering was addressed by Sarpotdar and others.
The defence, accepting that Sarpotdar was present at the relevant time, contended that he did not make any inflammatory statements.
Mumbai was engulfed in two long spells of bloody communal riots between December 1992 and January 1993 in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Barely three months later, March 12, 1993, the simmering tensions culminated in the serial bomb explosions that rocked Mumbai, the trial of which was completed last year.
Sarpotdar was a three-term Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member elected from the prestigious Mumbai north-west constituency, earlier represented by the late actor Sunil Dutt, and now by his daughter Priya Dutt of the Congress.
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