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Discharge plea of 24 accused rejected for rioting during bandh

Thursday, October 11, 2018
By Bhavna Uchil

They are accused of stone-pelting, damaging property in Govandi in the aftermath of Bhima Koregaon violence

A sessions court recently rejected the discharge pleas of 24 persons who were allegedly part of a mob that went on a rampage during the Maharashtra bandh that was called in the aftermath of the Bhima Koregaon violence in January this year.

The applicants had sought to be discharged from Section 333 of the IPC pertaining to 'voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from duty'. They had argued that this Section was not applicable, that they are innocent and that medical papers do not show grievous injuries. They also denied their presence on the site of the offence.

Additional Public Prosecutor Pranjali Jitendra Joshi had opposed the discharge pleas stating that the accused had been caught red-handed committing offences.

Rejecting the discharge pleas, Assistant Sessions Judge M.S. Deshpande said in his order, 'From police papers, medical papers, it prima facie appears that there are grounds for presuming that accused have committed an offence punishable under Section 333 of IPC ...in the backdrop of material placed on record, discharge of accused is not tenable. It deserves to be dismissed'.

Cases had been registered against the accused by the Govandi police for offences against public tranquility, causing hurt or grievous hurt to public servants, assaulting or using criminal force on public servants, violation of preventive orders, and damaging public and private property. It was on the second day after the Bhima Koregaon violence took place near Pune on January 1, 2018, that a mob of around 100-200 people came from Govandi Bridge towards Neelam Junction shouting slogans against the ruling party. The complaint states that the violent and uncontrolled mob started pelting stones and beating passersby, due to which police had to resort to lathi charge.

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