The Sewri fast-track court on Friday acquitted Ravindra Kantrole, more commonly referred to as the ‘Beer Man’, from the second murder case for lack of evidence and prosecution’s failure to prove the charge.
He was accused of murdering an unidentified man near Bombay Hockey Stadium in Churchgate in the wee hours of October 9, 2006.
Kantrole was arrested on March 7, 2007, for allegedly murdering three of the seven men found dead in south Mumbai under similar circumstances between October 2006 and February 2007. A beer can was found near most of the victims.
The prosecution was banking on eyewitness Mohammed Salim Sirajudin Talikdar who had identified Kantrole as the man hanging around the stadium a day before the murder.
But defence lawyer Sushant Kunjuraman argued that if Talikdar has noticed Kantrole on October 8, 2006, why did he approach the police eight months later. Kunjuraman also accused the police of trying to nail Kantrole to shut the case as there was a pressure mounting on them.
Kantrole told Hindustan Times that the police had tortured him for eight days while he was in custody
and claimed that he was never produced before any magistrate.
During interrogation, the police, who were convinced that he was the ‘Beer Man’, kept asking him where he had hid the murder weapon.
“I said that I did not commit any offence, but the police continued to ask about weapon,” said Kantrole.
On June 27, Kantrole was acquitted of a murder that took place on December 25, 2006, near the Income-Tax office at Marine Lines.
He expressed hope that he would be let off in the third case too.