By LE Desk

Pune, April 2: A Pune court has acquitted four persons who were charged for attacking a Muslim cleric due to lack of evidence. The accused were charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in an FIR lodged against them at Kondhwa police station by the victim in 2014.

Additional sessions judge S R Navander ordered acquittal of Dada alias Amit Valmiki Harpale (21), a resident of Phursungi, Deepak Vasant Gorgale (23), a resident of Undri, Dattatreya Rajesh Tak (25), a resident of Pisoli and Srikant Nagesh Malge (29), a resident of Undri for lack of evidence, the Hindustan Times reported. The fifth accused identified as Atuk Ravindra Kad (27), a resident of Kadnagar in Undri died during the trial.

On June 1, 2014 , at 9.45 pm Maulana Ashpaque Ahmed Ansari (40), a resident of Ayesha Masjid in Undri and his brother Izhar Ahmed Ansari ( 30) had finished prayers and were on their way to the Wanowrie Bazaar when they stopped on Bishop’s school road for an auto rickshaw. At that time, they were attacked by the accused with wooden sticks without any valid reason. Ashpaque fell unconscious on the ground and his brother rushed him to Inamdar hospital where he was admitted. 

Maulana Ashpaque Ansari later lodged an FIR with the Kondhwa police stating that they were assaulted as objectionable photos of deities went viral on social media. Seven witnesses were examined and all of them told the court that they had attempted to murder the victim, as reported by HT. The accused were represented by advocate Milind Pawar.

The order stated, “Based on the circumstantial evidence submitted by the prosecution before the court, it cannot be proved that the accused attacked the victim with sticks. Neither can it prove that they had sticks at the time of the incident which were used as weapons of assault. The court acquits them for want of evidence.”

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