Murder case against Raj Thackeray, and remembering the murder of Ramesh Kini

Mumbai: A murder case has been filed against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray in a Bihar court on Friday, official sources said in Patna.Jagdish Prasad, father of Pawan Kumar, killed by the MNS activists in Mumbai, has filed this case under section 302 against Raj Thackeray.

The case has been filed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Bihar Sharief, Nalanda. Pawan, a resident of Bara-Khurd village in Nalanda, was one of the hundreds of students from Bihar assaulted while appearing for a railway recruitment exam in Mumbai.

However, Mumbai Railway Police Commissioner A K Sharma has described it as an accidental death. “Pawan tried to board a running train holding on to the rod as the picked up speed. He kept holding the rod of the running train. Suddenly his legs slipped between the train and the platform and both his legs were run over,” Sharma said.

Pawan had come to Mumbai to take an exam being conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board. His examination centre being located at Bhayander, he was attempting to board a Virar local from Andheri when the accident occurred. It may be recalled that once before too Raj Thackeray has been accused of complicity in the death of Ramesh Kini in 1996, a resident of suburban Matunga.

Kini died under mysterious circumstances in a theatre at Pune amidst allegations of political pressure. Mumbai had police charged Raj Thackeray, then a Shiv Sena leader, with the conspiracy leading to Kini's death. His widow Shiela Kini had alleged that her husband was murdered because one of Raj's 'friends' wanted the flat in which they lived. And Kini refused to sell cheap. She had stated that landlords Laxmichand Shah and his son Suman, friends of Raj Thackeray, had brought pressure on them to vacate the flat occupied by them in Laxmi Nivas. She recalled in depth the events leading to her husband's death.

However, the widow withdrew the allegations later. Raj Thackeray was exonerated him from the charges. Raj’s friends, Laxmichand Shah and his son Suman, were charged along with Ashuthosh Rane, a Vidyarthi Sena leader.Altogether 130 witnesses were cited by the prosecution in this case.  Laxmichand and Suman were charged with section 306 IPC (abetment of suicide), section 386 IPC (extortion by putting victim in fear of death) read with section 34 IPC (common intention) and section 120-b IPC (conspiracy).

They were tried in the court of law but were acquitted by Additional Sessions Judge S.P. Nikam for 'want of evidence'.

Two years later, Ramesh Chheda, also living in the same building died mysteriously.  This death was taken up by Chhagan Bhujbal, once in Shiv Sena. He had said that,`This suicide case is very serious. It is known that Ramesh Chheda was helping Sheila Kini, widow of Ramesh Kini, in the court cases.  Chheda was threatened by unidentified people and his suicide was linked with the Ramesh Kini case.”