14 acquitted for UP jail shootout due to lack of evidence
The court ordered their acquittal, giving them the "benefit of doubt", as the prosecution failed to establish the case against them
A local court in Mathura has acquitted 14 accused in a case related to a shootout inside the district jail between two rival groups of gangsters in 2015 that left one person dead and two injured.
The court ordered their acquittal, giving them the "benefit of doubt", as the prosecution failed to establish the case against them.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Pandey acquitted 14 under-trial prisoners of all charges, including murder.
Most witnesses from the jail administration also turned hostile, according to the prosecution lawyer.
The Additional District Government Council in Mathura, Shoorveer Singh, told reporters that the shootout took place inside the Mathura prison on January 17, 2015 between the two groups led by Deepak Meena and Rajesh Tonta.
The firing led to the death of one of the gang members, Akshay Solanki. Another injured gangster Rajesh Sharma (Tonta) was gunned down by a group of men while he was being shifted to Agra Medical college from district hospital, Mathura in police custody.
A total of 15 persons including jail police personnel, constable Kailash Gupta, were named in the shootout.
After Rajesh's death, a charge sheet was filed against 14 people in the court. Gupta was accused of bringing arms inside the jail.
"At least 22 people were made witnesses in this case, but seven witnesses from jail administration and one lawyer turned hostile," said Singh adding that of the 14 accused, 12 were out on bail while two are still in prison.
On September 10, 2014, dreaded criminal of western Uttar Pradesh, Brajesh Mawi, was allegedly killed by one of his associates Tonta, who later surrendered along with his accomplices in Hathras, Aligarh and Mathura. Tonta was lodged in the Mathura Jail.
Four months later, the shootout took place inside the Mathura jail.