Mumbai: A local court on Monday convicted and sentenced Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Abu Asim Azmi and four others to two years of rigorous imprisonment for allegedly delivering provocative speeches to incite communal violence.
The Mazgaon Metropolitan Magistrate's Court convicted the accused under Section 153 (a) and 153 (b) of the Indian Penal Code. Apart from sentencing them to a two-year jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 11,000 on each of the accused. The court, however, suspended their sentence, allowing them to approach the Sessions Court to challenge their conviction.
The case dates back to February 2000, when Azmi had allegedly delivered provocative speeches at Mastan Talao Maidan at Dr D M Dimtikar Marg in Byculla against Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and the then Sena leader Narayan Rane. "He had spoken about Balasaheb Thackeray and India in an undignified manner," said the complainant, Ganpatrao Madgulkar, who was then the personal assistant of Rane.