Mustafa Dossa and moll Shabina Khatri
Mustafa Dossa, on trial for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people and injured more than 700, and his SO, Shabina Khatri, may not be spouses after all.
After being ordered to probe the relation between the two, the Mumbai Police has told the special TADA court that Khatri used an invalid marriage certificate to repeatedly gain access to the gangster at Arthur Road Jail. Only relatives are allowed visitation rights in prison.
In a 500-page report — the second such on the gangster and his moll — filed in court on June 7, the police said although they couldn't ascertain whether the two were married, they had found that the marriage certificate Khatri used didn't bear the signatures of witnesses, thereby rendering it invalid. "This marriage certificate was the document used to meet Dossa in prison. Unless one is related to a prison inmate, one is not allowed to meet him/her," explained a senior police officer.
Assistant Police Inspector Ayaz Patel suspended for arranging the 'date'
On February 9, Dossa had claimed before the court that Khatri is not his wife.
In spotlight by expose
Dossa and Khatri's relation was put under scrutiny by a mid-day exposé in January 2017. The two had enjoyed an overnight train journey a month prior while the gangster was being taken to Porbandar for a court hearing. The police escort team looked the other way.
The court took cognisance of this paper's report and ordered the Police to conduct an investigation. The police corroborated mid-day's findings, and suspended Assistant Police Inspector Ayaz Patel, who had been in charge of the escort detail. They also submitted a report with proof that Khatri had joined Dossa at Vadodara station as reported by mid-day.
In February, judge GA Sanap asked investigating officer and Joint Commissioner of Police Pravin Padwal for evidence on Dossa and Khatri's marital relation. Padwal referred to a photograph of the two on Khatri's Facebook page, in which she called Dossa her husband, as well as her entry, identifying herself as his wife, in the register at Arthur Road Jail.
Veracity in question
Questioning whether the photograph and the register entry were legally admissible evidence, the judge raised the suspicions that "it can be a case of impersonation". He also pointed out loopholes in the police inquiry and passed an order, directing the police to ascertain their marital relation. "It is necessary that the officer go to the root of the matter and see if the woman is his wife or not," said the judge.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the police have found a witness who was on the same train that Dossa and Khatri took in December 2016. This witness has provided the police with photographic evidence of the couple's 'date night'.
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