Panjim, October 9: A man set his bike, a red Royal Enfield Thunderbird, on fire after getting it released following a seven-year trial. The police had seized Anwar Raj Guru's Royal Enfield Thunderbird on allegations of forged documents towards registration. He had to fight a long legal battle to prove his innocence, and after acquittal, he put the bike on flames in court premises.
Anwar had purchased a red Royal Enfield Thunderbird on March 19, 2009. However, his bike was seized after the allegation that Anwar, along with an agent, forged an elector’s photo identity card to get the registration of the bike done in Goa. An assistant motor vehicles inspector spotted the discrepancy on March 19.
An investigation was launched by the office of mamlatdar, who then found that Anwar’s name was missing in the 2009 voter’s list in Goa. The trial began in 2011, and he had to wait for seven years to get his Royal Enfield Thunderbird, which Anwar says, was “once his only dream”. On May 5 this year, the count found Anwar and his agent not guilty.
During the argument, Anwar's lawyer pointed loopholes in the investigation. The court also observed that the mamlatdar office did not scrutinise the records before 2006. “On the basis of verification of the records of the year 2009, it cannot be said that the card issued in the year 2006 is forged,” reads the judgement acquitting the two.
Although Anwar managed to prove his innocence, the legal battle killed all enthusiasm for his dream bike. On October 4, he got his Royal Enfield Thunderbird, paid a five -year insurance, cleared the RTO penalty, brought it to the vicinity of the Judicial Magistrate court which had acquitted him of all charges, and set the bike on fire.
“I wanted it to be symbolic. A common man’s ordeal. Initially, I parked the bike right in front of the court. But it was evening, and there were some poi vendors, and a crowd was buying the Goan bread. My intention was not to hurt anyone. I moved the bike a little ahead, but still across the court and set it ablaze,” Anwar told Indian Express.
“I never missed a court date. It always came up every 15 days. I would travel all the way to attend the arguments. Those who complained and the witnesses in the case kept getting summoned. Of the panchas, one died. The witnesses never appeared on time even after repeated summons. Once while travelling to attend the trial, I met with an accident. Then onwards, I started appearing before the court in crutches,” he narrated his ordeal.
“What they saw was a man burning a bike. What I felt was an end to my frustrations," he added.