Pune court acquits Hindu Rashtra Sena president in extortion case
A city court has acquitted Hindu Rashtra Sena president Dhananjay Desai (41) and his associate Raju Waghire (43), in an extortion and intimidation case on Friday. Desai is an accused in the murder case of information technology (IT) profession Mohsin Shaikh in Pune in 2014.
Additional sessions judge KD Vadane acquitted Desai and Waghire while asking them to furnish a PR (personal recognisance) bond of Rs 15,000 each with the surety of like amount in compliance with 437 (A) of the code of criminal procedure.
The case was filed by Ashok Ekath Kurhade (50), a resident of Kothrud on September 11, 2010, with the Paud police. Kurhad who runs a stone crusher business ‘Mamata’ in Mulshi had stated that he received an extortion call from Desai to give him Rs 10 lakh and hand the money at Parmar bungalow. He also demanded Kurhade to pay Rs 50,000 per month failing which he threatened him with dire consequences.
The judge in his order stated, “All the facts show that the evidence adduced by the prosecution is not sufficient. Thus, the prosecution has failed to bring home the guilt of the accused of the offences under Sections 143, 147, 364-A, 149, 385, 323, 504, 506 and 149. Hence, accused Dhananjay Desai and Waghire are entitled to be acquitted.”
The public prosecutor examined four eyewitnesses in the case and registered their signatures. All the witnesses deposed before the court and stated that the incident of such nature did not take place.
Defence counsel advocate Milind Pawar submitted that Kurhade had not supported the prosecution story and nothing has been brought on record by the prosecution to show that the accused demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh and kidnapped, confined, beaten up and threatened the complainant. He further said that the accused is the founder president of Hindu Rashtra Sena, therefore, due to political motive, a false case has been registered against the accused.
Pawar said, “Some of the accused booked by the Paud police were out of jail and were in judicial custody in some other case and were shown as co-accused in the case by the Paud police.”
Desai in a written application before the court stated that he had been falsely framed in the case by the then government as he is the president of Hindu Rashtra Sena which spreads the ideology of Hindutva among the youth. He also alleged that he was framed in a false case involving the murder of IT engineer Mohsin Shaikh and had to spend five years in prison. The Bombay High Court in its preliminary observation has indicated that it was a false case,” Desai stated.
Techie Moshin Shaikh’s murder case
The Bombay High Court in January had granted bail to Dhananjay Desai in the murder of IT engineer Mohsin Shaikh in Pune in June 2014, when communal clashes had broken out after the circulation of objectionable pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray. Mohsin was attacked, allegedly by some youths associated with the Hindu Rashtra Sena, while he was on his way home after offering prayers at a mosque in Hadapsar, on June 2, 2014. He later died while undergoing treatment at a hospital. His brother Mobin Shaikh had filed a complaint of murder at the Hadapsar police station against 21 Hindu Rashtra Sena activists, including Desai.