New Delhi : A special MCOCA court here Friday acquitted nine people accused of murdering a man in 2012.

New Delhi: A total of 12 persons were accused of killing Haris alias Bittu Sultan Shah (25) in February 2012 in a room in Kalyan’s Bail Bazar area and then burning the body in Igatpuri near Nashik.

The accused believed Shah had stolen 30 kg of charas, a narcotic substance, from them, the prosecution claimed.

Two of the 12 accused are at large, while one died during the pendency of the trial.

On Friday, Special MCOCA Judge S B Bahalkar acquitted the nine accused in custody.

The prosecution examined 33 witnesses in the case.

Appearing for the defence, advocates Poonit Mahimkar, Tarikk Sayyed and Pankaj Kawle said the accused had been falsely blamed and pointed to the delay in recording the statements of eyewitnesses, confessions under section 18 of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Those acquitted were Rahimbai Yusuf Pathan (28), Irshad Shaikh (44), Bilal alias Chotu Shaikh (30), Jahid Shaikh (27), Barkhat (37), Raja alias Bushan More (32), Baban Wani (44), Amjad Lambu Pathan (39) and Imran Sayyed (37).

The two absconding accused are Jahur Ahmed Abbas Pathan and Ishwar, while Hanif Shaikh alias Hanif Menda (38) died during pendency of trial.

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