Citing religious incitement, the Bombay High court granted bail to three men accused of murdering a man after attending a meeting conducted by a Hindu religious body, Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) on June 2, 2014.

The court held that the accused did not commit the crime out of personal rivalry but were instigated 'in the name of religion', reports The Indian Express.

The court said, "The fact that the deceased belonged to another religion is in favour of the accused, who were provoked in the name of the religion and seem to have committed the murder,”

The incident took place at Hudaspur in Pune, where a mob met to discuss the alleged destruction of a statue of King Shivaji and morphed pictures of former MNS chief Bal Thackeray and few Hindu Gods.

One of the accused, Dhananjay Desai, also made a 'provocative speech at the meeting which allegedly led to instigation among the crowds, says this report in Hindustan Times.

Representational image |Source: Reuters

In a moment of rage, the accused who were allegedly roaming with hockey sticks after the meeting, attacked two Muslim youths Shaikh Mohsin and Riyaz who, along with a friend, Wasim were on the way to have dinner in the area. While Wasim and Riyaz escaped, Mohsin was badly injured and succumbed to his injuries later.

Trivialising the murder motive, Justice Mridula Bhatkar said that the accused was simply "provoked in the name of religion."

She said, "The meeting was held prior to the incident of assault. The accused, otherwise, had no other motive, such as any personal enmity, against the innocent deceased. The only fault of the deceased was that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the accused. Moreover, the accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that they were provoked in the name of the religion and have committed murder,”