Witness identifies Madhukar Sarpotdar in court room

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Mumbai, Jun 6 (UNI) A witness today identified Shiv Sena leader and former MP Madhukar Sarpotdar, whose provocative speech had sparked violence at Kherwadi in Bandra during the 1992-93 riots after the Babri Masjid demolition.

Police inspector Madhav Khanolkar, who deposed before Metropolitan Magistrate R C Bapat-Sarkar, said ''Mr Sarpotdar is sitting in the court premises.'' He added that the court that a group of people were shouting slogans on the particular day.

After Mr Khanolkar's examination, the Magistrate adjourned the matter till June 23 for further hearing. Mr Khanolkar was police inspector at Nirmal Nagar police station at the time of the incident.

In the case, the witnesses, who had earlier deposed before the court, had turned hostile.

One police constable, Pandurang Tayde, had even claimed before the court that he was suffering from a memory lapse and could not recollect the incident. Mr Tayde had then been assigned the duty of making diary notings of all political activities in Nirmal Nagar.

According to the prosecution case, on December 27, 1992, Sarpotdar had addressed a gathering of Shiv Sainiks and made a provocative speech that had sparked violence. A case of rioting was filed against six people.

UNI ST SSS GL AS1810

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