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Firing at rally: Supreme Court relief for minister

mumbai Updated: Oct 20, 2009 01:14 IST
Urvi Mahajani
Urvi Mahajani
Hindustan Times
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The police cannot arrest Minister for Rural Development Siddharam Mhetre until October 30.

The Supreme Court (SC), on Monday, gave the state government time until October 30 to file a reply on Mhetre’s bail application in connection with the alleged murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker,Bimanna Kore, at Akkalkot in Solapur on September 26.

Naveen Chomal, Mhetre’s advocate, said the SC has restrained police from arresting Mhetre until it files a reply on his bail application.

Mhetre had approached the SC after the Bombay High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application seeking relief from arrest in the case.

Mhetre and 29 others were booked under charges of attempt to murder and instigating violence at Akkalkot during an election rally.

Mhetre’s counsels argued that the police theory that Mhetre had given a speech prior to the incident on September 18 and instigated his party workers was baseless.

“Forget about eight days before (the incident), Mhetre had not gone to Akkalkot for at least a month prior to the incident,” said Chomal.

“Mhetre has been provided with police protection. The government can check from police records whether he had visited the place before the incident,” he added.

Kore was killed and three

others injured at Shevegaon village on September 26 when unidentified men fired at a rally for Siddramappa Patil, BJP nominee for the Akkalkot Assembly seat.

Patil escaped unhurt.

Mhetre’s brother, Shankar, and one other person have been arrested and a hunt is on for other accused.

Chomal argued that the deceased died of injury by a blunt object and not by bullet.

The high court had rejected Mhetre’s anticipatory bail plea on October 6 saying the first information report was serious and the murder seems to have been committed out of political rivalry.