PUNE: A youth who attacked a salon owner to force him to shut his shop to enforce a bandh on June 1, 2014, (before the riots), was sentenced to three months’ rigorous imprisonment. Seven other accused in the case were acquitted.
However, as the convict has already spent around four months in jail, the period behind bars will be set off and he will walk away free. Additional Sessions Judge Pralhad Bhagure also imposed a fine of Rs 16,000 on the convict Omkar Bhagwan Todkar (26), a resident of Kavadenagar, Koregaon Park. He works as a driver.
Ajiz Solapurwala, owner of Kool Kuts Men’s Parlour in Koregaon Park, had lodged the case. The police said that on June 1, 2014, 6 to 7 persons reached Ajiz’s shop and directed the workers to shut the shop. They said as per a post on Facebook, they were protesting against a derogatory statement about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Balasaheb Thackeray. The accused then left the spot.
On the same day at 3.45 pm, when Ajiz was in his shop, 7 to 8 boys came and asked him to shut his shop. When he asked them why, they said, “Are you not aware what appeared on Facebook?” When Ajiz refused to shut the shop, the boys abused him and rushed at him for beating him. One accused said he will finish Ajiz. He picked up an iron bar from the shop and hit Ajiz on the head with it. The accused then fled from the spot on their bikes. Ajiz was taken for treatment to Budhrani Hospital by his employees.
An FIR for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault, trespass under the IPC was registered with the Koregaon Park police station. Later, the youth who attacked Ajiz was identified as Todkar.
Todkar’s lawyer argued there was no CCTV footage or other evidence to show that Todkar was involved. However, the court relied on eye witnesses’ account.
Todkar prayed for leniency as he is unmarried and his father is dependent on him. He has taken a loan from his employer to construct a house. The court accepted this argument.