Amriuddin Patel (36) and Sameer Khan (35) were acquitted in a 1992-1993 riots case on Monday, bringing the number of acquittals to 11. The fifth case was heard on Monday at the special court.
Special Judge RC Bapat Sarkar acquitted the two, charged with threatening a Hindu businessman in Jogeshwari after the Babri Masjid demolition.
The court acquitted the duo as the police had no evidence against them and the complainant was not traceable. Both rickshaw drivers and residents of Jogeshwari (East), they were arrested in 1992. The police slapped charges of simple hurt and criminal intimidation and kept them behind bars for over a month.
“I don’t even know the complaint and have no other case pending against me,” Patel said after his acquittal. “The police took me to the police station without giving me a reason. The next day, they produced me in court, saying I had threatened a businessman.”
The complainant failed to turn up even after repeated summons by the court. The police too could not trace him.The special magistrate acquitted them for lack of evidence. The only witness who deposed in court was investigating officer Manikrao Chauhan, who only confirmed that the complainant had given a statement against the accused. “Local shop owners told the police that they had never heard of Sonwar even though he claimed that he was running his business for over 20 years,” said Patel’s lawyer GL Thonge.