One case of police firing took place at Suleman Usman Bakery and other at Hari Masjid in Wadala.
Mumbai: While the Supreme Court of India on Saturday brought the Ayodhya land dispute to a legal end, there are at least two cases related to the 1992-93 riots in Mumbai, which took place in the immediate aftermath of the demolition of Babri Masjid in the holy town, which continue to remain entangled in a legal mess.
The cases relate to two incidents of police firing during the riots: One that took place at Suleman Usman Bakery on Mohammed Ali Road and the other at Hari Masjid in the central suburb of Wadala.
“We examined five witnesses in the case. Of them, four were police personnel handling posts for sending or receiving messages from or to police control room. However, one witness turned hostile,” said public prosecutor Ratnavali Patil, who is handling the Suleman Usman Bakery firing case.
Noting that the trail is still in its initial stages, Ms Patil added that many important witnesses like doctors and experts, who conducted the post-mortem, are yet to be examined.
According to the prosecution, 17 police officers, including former Mumbai police commissioner R.D. Tyagi, then the joint police commissioner (crime), fired at Suleman Usman Bakery and killed nine Muslims on January 9, 1993.
Acting on the Srikrishna Commission Report, a Special Task Force, set up by the government in 2000, charged Tyagi and 17 other policemen with murder.
In 2001, a case of murder and attempt to murder was registered against them. However, Tyagi and eight other accused were discharged for lack of evidence in 2011. Rest are facing trial in the Sessions Court.
The matter has been lingering since the death of Maulana Noor-ul-Huda, the complainant, due to a heart attack few years back. However, the state is now pursuing this matter. Some of the accused in the case have also died.
Similarly, in another incident, a police team lead by assistant police inspector Nikhil Kapse, on January 10, 1993, allegedly entered the Hari Masjid in Wadala and opened fire at people inside the Masjid. Seven people died and six others were seriously injured in the firing.
One of the injured, Farooq Mapkar, filed a complaint against the police but his legal fight continues even as a CBI court accepted the closure report filed by the central probe agency against the policemen.
Mr Mapkar has filed an appeal against the closure in the Bombay high court. His appeal is yet to be heard.