As per the police, a group of Shiv Sainiks marched towards a meeting organized by supporters of Rane near the office of the party's mouthpiece 'Saamana' in Prabhadevi in central Mumbai
A court on Thursday acquitted five Shiv Sena workers in a 2005 rioting and unlawful assembly case pertaining to a protest in Mumbai against now Union minister Narayan Rane following his decision to quit the saffron party.
A detailed order was not immediately available, but Additional Sessions Judge R N Rokade noted there were discrepancies in the identity of the persons booked by the police and their alleged role in the 18-year-old incident.
As per the police, a group of Shiv Sainiks marched towards a meeting organized by supporters of Rane near the office of the party's mouthpiece 'Saamana' in Prabhadevi in central Mumbai.
The gathering was to be addressed by former Shiv Sena chief minister of Maharashtra Rane after he quit the regional party founded by Bal Thackeray.
A scuffle broke out between members of the rival groups and to bring the situation under control police resorted to lathicharge.
The probe agency further said a policeman suffered a knee injury in stone pelting between supporters of Rane and workers of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
A case under relevant sections of the IPC was registered against a number of Shiv Sena workers for unlawful assembly, rioting, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
Seven people were facing trial and the case was abated against two of them following their death.
Those acquitted by Additional Sessions Judge R N Rokade were identified as Ashok Kelkar, Laxman Bhosale, Ajit Kadam, Dattaram Shinde and Shashi Phadate.
The court, while acquitting the five Sena workers, pointed out that the complainant (police) said they had booked 8 to 0 people from the protest site, but there was no reference to them in the case.
There were no arrest memos or 'panchnamas' (documents that record evidences/findings at the scene of an offence) to show who those accused were and how these five persons came into the picture, the court observed.
Further, the judge noted there were discrepancies in their identification, their role in the alleged offence and the medical record did not clearly reveal how injury was caused to the policeman.
After quitting the Shiv Sena, Rane joined the Congress and became a state minister. He is currently with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a member of the Rajya Sabha. The Shiv Sena suffered a split in June 2022 when a section of MLAs revolted against the party's leadership.
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