Although the mood in the court turned grim after the judge declared the names of those he had found guilty, some of them said they had expected the verdict. The tears flowed even from those declared not-guilty. Only a few were willing to speak to journalists.
“We were expecting this verdict, but I still maintain that we all are innocent,” Radheshyam Shah, also known as Lala Vakil, who was convicted for assault told HT. “Our battle for justice will continue in the high court now. Let us see what punishment we get on Monday.”
The court is yet to pass sentences, which is scheduled for Monday. Another of those found guilty of assault, Bipin Joshi, physically disabled man, said with tears in his eyes: “My father is seriously ill. I just want to pray for bail now, so that I can visit him.”
Rizwan Sayed, the son of acquitted police official Idris Sayed, said: “God has finally done justice with our family. This trial has made me and my family stronger. I will now continue my law graduation and will fight for innocent people.” Rizwan was just 17 years old when his father, then a police sub-inspector, was arrested. R.S. Bhagora, deputy superintendent of police, who is out on bail, refused to comment.
The prosecution lawyer and most of the defence counsels were absent in the court when the judgment was declared. They had earlier left for Gujarat, not expecting the judge to complete dictating the verdict. Only defence lawyer Umesh Deshpande, who assisted the main defence advocate S.K. Jain, was present.