Hubballi: The Vijayapur district court on Monday acquitted Parashuram Waghmore, the man accused in the murder of journalist-activist Gouri Lankesh, in connection with a case of hoisting a Pakistani flag in his home town, Sindagi, in 2012. The special investigating team produced Waghmore and five other accused in the case before the court on Monday. After hearing the case for over six years, the court acquitted all the six saying that there were mistakes in filing of the charge-sheet and that it contained technical errors.
The police had charged that Parashuram was a Hindutva supporter associated with Sri Ram Sene and hoisted the Pakistani flag to trigger communal tension in the region. But, First Additional District Judge Geetha K.B. exonerated the six accused, citing lack of substantial evidence against them. Waghmore had allegedly hoisted a Pakistan flag in front of tahsildar’s office in Sindagi on January 1 six years ago. This had led to protests by some residents, who had alleged that the Muslim community was behind the incident. They had blocked roads and threw stones at buses condemning the incident.
Later, the police arrested Parashuram Waghmore, his cousin Arun Waghmore and Sriram Sene activists Anil Solakar, Mallangouda Patil, Rohit Navi and Suni Agasar. The police dropped charges against seventh accused as he was a juvenile. Advocate S.H. Lagali, who argued for the accused, said that all of them were acquitted as the investigating agency did not produce proper evidence. Interestingly, all the accused had staged a demonstration in Sindagi the very next day of hoisting the flag to protest the delay in arresting those responsible for the incident.
They had also tried to manhandle the superintendent of police and other officers when they visited the spot. Public prosecutor K.K. Kulkarni said that an appeal will be filed before the high court after studying the judgement copy and based on the merit of the case. The legal experts claimed that anyone can file a public interest litigation against all the six in the higher court if the public prosecutor failed to do so....