Court acquits 4 persons for attack on India Today office

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Mumbai, Dec 2 (UNI) A Sessions court acquitted four people, including a Shiv Sena member, in connection with an attack on the office of India Today magazine, situated in South Mumbai, two years ago.

The Sainiks had allegedly attacked the magazine's office on March 11, 2005 to protest against a seminar by India Today Group, wherein the then Union Minister of Oil and Petroleum Mani Shankar Aiyar was to speak. The Sainiks were angry with Mr Aiyer for ordering the removal of a plaque of Veer Savarkar, installed in Cellular Jail at Port Blair in Andamans.

Additional Sessions Judge G W Awarsomoal acquitted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Sawant, who is also the secretary of the Shiv Sena's trade union, along with Manish Sawant, Ashok Bhalerao and Bharti Pawar for lack of evidence yesterday.

Sena chief Bal Thackeray had allegedly directed Shiv Sainiks not to allow entry of Mr Aiyar into Maharashtra for directing the removal of the plaque commemorating Veer Savarkar.

Advocate Hemant Kenjalkar who appeard on behalf of the accused, while talking to the mediapersons, said the motive behind the offence was not established by prosecution and doubts arose as there were no independent witnesses from the building or nearby offices.

UNI

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