This Article is From Aug 30, 2011

Thane blasts convicts get 10 years in jail

Thane blasts convicts get 10 years in jail
Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Tuesday sentenced two men to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for the 2008 Thane and Vashi bomb blasts.

The duo Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave were also slapped with a fine of Rs 11,000 each for their role in the blasts in two theatres and a cinema hall in Thane, Vashi and Panvel in mid-2008.

Sessions Judge NV Nhavkar had on Monday found them guilty in the case while acquitting four others for lack of evidence.

The four men acquitted are Mangesh Nikam, Santosh Angre, Hemant Chalke and Hari Divekar.

The prosecution had contended that all the six accused in the case were members of a fanatical Hindu organization, Sanatan Sanstha, though the defence lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar said that the name of the organization did not figure anytime during the trial.

"The judge also observed that the accused did not belong to any group, terrorist or otherwise," Punalekar pointed out.

Both Gadkari and Bhave were found guilty on charges under sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 427 (mischief causing damage to public property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The prosecution had charged them of criminal conspiracy and planting bombs, attempt to murder as well as sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosive Substances Act and Arms Act.

However, the charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC were later dropped against all the accused, he added.

On June 4, 2008, a low intensity bomb exploded in the parking area of the Gadkari Rangayatan (theatre) in Thane, leaving seven people injured

The bomb was ostensibly to protest against a play being staged there, "Amhi Pachpute" which allegedly portrayed Hindu gods and goddesses in poor light.

Earlier that year, May 31, a low intensity bomb exploded at the Vishnu Bhave Auditorium in Vashi, Thane district, while a live bomb was recovered from the Cineraj cinema at Panvel, Raigad district.