Three get life sentences for killing watchman during temple robbery

Mumbai: The Mumbai sessions court recently sentenced three men to life imprisonment for killing a watchman who tried to stop them from robbing a Jain temple at Borivali in August 2010
The sessions court convicted three of them -- Harun Shaikh, Ramesh Patil and Santosh Bhoir -- and let of the others (SHUTTERSTOCK)
The sessions court convicted three of them -- Harun Shaikh, Ramesh Patil and Santosh Bhoir -- and let of the others (SHUTTERSTOCK)
Published on May 07, 2022 10:15 PM IST
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Mumbai: The Mumbai sessions court recently sentenced three men to life imprisonment for killing a watchman who tried to stop them from robbing a Jain temple at Borivali in August 2010.

According to the prosecution case, the incident took place in the wee hours of August 22, 2010. Police said at around 3:20 am, the gang reached the temple, carrying bamboo sticks and iron rods in their hands.

The gang first attacked the two watchmen of the temple, killing one of them on the spot. The other, who survived the attempt on his life, revealed that the accused assaulted them so badly that both of them fell unconscious.

He said when he regained his senses, he saw the accused coming out of the temple with heavy bags in their hands. The gang had fled with metal idols and golden ornaments.

The injured watchmen were later taken to the hospital by residents. A case was registered with MHB Colony police station and later transferred to the crime branch for further investigation.

The crime branch had arrested all nine persons in connection with the robbery and murder.

The sessions court convicted three of them -- Harun Shaikh, Ramesh Patil and Santosh Bhoir -- and let of the others -- Suresh Gupta, Vinod Kumar and Mukesh Yadav and Vicky Thapa -- for want of cogent evidence.

The court held that Shaikh, Patil and Bhoir were the key conspirators and the rest joined their plan, but the evidence against the others was too weak to hold them guilty.

The prosecution examined all 14 witnesses which included the sole eyewitness, the surviving watchman and the key evidence of the recovery of the stolen articles through the accused.

“It proved that the offence was committed with conspiracy by the accused No.1 to 3 (Shaikh, Patil and Bhoir) amongst one another and is probably with other accused against whom the offence could not be proved or with the unknown accused. They had pre-­planned to visit the spot with the weapons and to attack the watchmen,” said the court, convicting the trio.

“It appears that none of the accused considered the life of those two poor watchmen, their dependent family members like old parents, minor children and their future etc. As against this, the way in which the offence is committed shows a specific and clear intention of committing death and/ or grievous injuries to the watchmen leaving them in such a position that in any case, they would not be able to see the accused and to oppose them,” the court added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Charul Shah is senior reporter covering the legal beat for Hindustan Times. She has spent over a decade in the industry covering criminal investigations and judiciary from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

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