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‘Vigilante justice’ acquittal

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OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT   |   Published 11.11.14, 12:00 AM

Nagpur, Nov. 10: A Nagpur court has acquitted all 21 accused in a case of “vigilante justice” that drew international attention a decade ago when a group of citizens stormed a court complex and beat to death a goon who was tormenting them for years.

“Want of clinching evidence” was cited as the reason for absolving the 21, including seven women, of the charge of lynching Bharat Kalicharan alias Akku Yadav, 32, on August 13, 2004.

“Go… you are all free,” judge V.T. Suryavanshi told the accused today.

Three of the accused died during the course of the trial. All were residents of Kasturba Nagar, a run-down locality in north Nagpur where Akku’s reign of terror ran unhindered.

“Don’t ask anything to me,” Akku’s younger brother Yuvraj Yadav told reporters after the judgment. “I’m absolutely unhappy today,” he said.

Yuvraj was one of the key witnesses in the case. In his deposition, he had admitted that his brother was notorious and had faced 26 serious criminal cases. But he had said his brother’s murder was pre-planned and an outcome of personal animosities.

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