Special Correspondent

(The Hindu Aug 14, 2007)


MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that special courts would be set up to try serious cases in the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai. He told a delegation that at least four to five courts would be set up to try about 24 to 36 cases.

He will be writing soon to the High Court to appoint special courts and special public prosecutors to try the cases. He gave this assurance to a delegation of various organisations which met him for an hour, demanding visible and concrete action in the riot cases. The police have said that 894 charge sheets were filed in various cases of which 253 are still pending in court.

There were 539 acquittals and in 27 cases, 84 people were convicted. The Chief Minister also said that the acquittals will be examined and it will be assessed whether a re-investigation should be ordered or an appeal would be enough.

Ms. Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for Justice and Peace, which is part of Nyay Andolan, a 26 member coalition set up last month to fight for the implementation of the Sri Krishna Commission report, said that in view of this assurance, a massive protest planned for August 20 was postponed. The morcha will now be held on October 25. Cases where there is gender violence, multiple murders and mass arson should be given preference, Ms Setalvad said. Mr. Deshmukh has ordered that action would be taken against those in the media indulging in inflammatory writings. [In the meantime, fascist Shiv Sena has threatened to “fight it till the last drop of blood”, if the Srikrishna Commission recommendations are implemented. Ed.]

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