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Four acquitted in 2011 murder case for lack of evidence


Thane, Dec 4 (PTI) Four persons including two brothers who were tried in connection with a murder of a social worker in 2011 have been acquitted by a court here for want of “credible evidence” against them.

Additional Sessions Judge V K Shewale also acquitted the four accused–Dinesh Tanaji Nokate (30), Suryakant Ramchandra Shelar (50), Rajendra Shankar Sutar (43) and Chandrakant Ramchandra Shelar (49)– of the charges of violation of prohibitory orders.

All the accused were charged under section 302  rw 34 of the IPC and U/Sec 135 r/w Sec 37(1)(3) of Bombay Police Act.

The case dates back to June 12, 2011 when Jaywant Barje was attacked fatally with a knife allegedly by the accused, all residents of Sutar chawl in Shelarpada of Kolbad locality here.

‘If the accused had been assailants, immediately they would have been named by the injured by making a oral dying declaration. However, this is not the fact. Hence, evidence of the (prosecution) witnesses have been falsified due to the silence of the injured in disclosing the names of culprits, who did cause him injuries,” the judge said.

Barje too lived in Shelarpada alongwith his son Manoj and other family members. The murder took place after Shelarpada hutments were taken for redevelopment under SRA scheme by builder and developer Mahesh Wagh (Shiv Sena corporator of Thane Municipal Corporation) Ganesh Wagh (Shiv Sena Leader) and one Katiyar.

Barje, a social worker in the area, alongwith one Prakash Arekar undertook the task of getting the premises vacated. Thus, out of 80 house dwellers, 51 occupiers left their hutments while some others including the accused refused to vacate.

The accused, who claim to be members of Scheduled Tribe, strongly opposed redevelopment in Shelarpada vicinity. Subsequently, a writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court, thereby delaying the redevelopment process, the Sessions Court here was told.

Further, the prosecution told the court, that a week before the murder, Barje had resolved a quarrel between Atish Khetle and Mayur Nokate, brother of one of the accused, “to the satisfaction of Khetle” following which he was attacked by the four assailants near Wagle Estate.

Pronouncing his verdict, Judge Shewale observed that the animosity between Barje and the accused was crystal clear.

However, the testimony of the relatives of the deceased was found to be tainted with interest and animosity, he noted.

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