2 convicted in Thane blasts, 4 acquitted | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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2 convicted in Thane blasts, 4 acquitted

mumbai Updated: Aug 30, 2011 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent

A sessions court on Monday convicted two persons in connection with low-intensity blasts in suburban Thane that left seven people injured in 2008. Four other accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

All the six accused allegedly belong to Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu revivalist group.

The court convicted Ramesh Gadkari, 55, and Vikram Bhave, 29, for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means, causing disappearance of evidence, and causing damage to property.

However, the duo was acquitted of more serious charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act such as attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. The act is usually invoked against terrorists.

Sessions judge NV Nhavkar said the evidence was "circumstantial in nature due to which it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was an act of terror".

The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Tuesday.

On June 4, 2008, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of Gadkari Rangayatan theatre in Thane, injuring seven people. The theatre was scheduled to stage Amhi Pachpute, a satirical play based on the epic Mahabharata.

Sanatan Sanstha had protested against the play, claiming it portrayed Hindu gods and goddesses in poor light. On May 31, 2008, a bomb had exploded at Vishnu Bhave Auditorium in Vashi and on February 20, 2008, a bomb was found at Cineraj cinema hall in Panvel.

Along with Gadkari and Bhave, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested Mangesh Nikam, 37, Santosh Angre, 34, Hemant Chalke, 40, and Haribau Divekar, 45, in connection with the blasts. The accused were also allegedly protesting the screening of the movie Jodhaa-Akbar.