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Two convicted for 2008 Thane theatre blast


Mumbai : A Mumbai sessions court Monday convicted two of the six accused in the 2008 Thane theatre blast that injured seven people. Four others were acquitted for lack of evidence, a lawyer said.

The quantum of punishment for the two convicts would be pronounced Tuesday in the court of Judge N.V. Nhavkar, the public prosecutor lawyer said.

On June 4, 2008, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of Gadkari Rangayatan theatre in Thane, injuring seven people. On May 31, 2008, a bomb exploded at Vishnu Bhave Auditorium in Vashi in Navi Mumbai. On Feb 20, 2008, a bomb was found at Cineraj cinema hall in Panvel in Raigad district.

“Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave have been convicted for planting bombs in Thane, Vashi and Panvel,” said Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian.

The six accused allegedly belonged to a group, Sanatan Sanstha. Those acquitted were Mangesh Nikam, Santosh Angre, Hemant Chalke and Hari Divekar.

They were accused of conspiring and planting bombs, criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, and violations of the Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act.

The accused were allegedly opposed to the proposed staging of play “Amhi Pachpute” at the theatre. The group said it portrayed Indian gods and goddesses in a poor light.