Khwaja Yunus case: CID wants to put 4 more ex-policemen on trial
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday moved a sessions court seeking to put on trial former police officer Praful Bhosale and three others in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday moved a sessions court seeking to put on trial former police officer Praful Bhosale and three others in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case. The CID filed the application a month after key prosecution witness, Mohammed Abdul Mateen, deposed before the trial court that he had seen Bhosale, the then assistant police inspector Hemant Desai, and two other policemen (identified only as "Vhanmane and Khot" in the plea) assaulting Yunus in the police lock-up.
Yunus (27) had been picked up by police in the 2002 Ghatkopar blast case in Mumbai. While the police claimed that he escaped while being taken to Aurangabad for the purpose of the probe, a CID inquiry - ordered by the high court on a petition filed by his father - revealed that he died in police custody. The inquiry indicted 14 policemen, but the government sanctioned prosecution of only four - Sachin Waze, Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai - for murder. The trial began in May 2017. The application filed by the CID said the court should summon Bhosale, Hemant Desai and the two other policemen and put them on trial "in view of the evidence that has come before the court".
Stripped and beaten
It cited Mateen's statement that Yunus was stripped to his underwear, his hands were tied behind his back, and was hit on his chest and abdomen while in the lock-up. These acts cannot fall within the ambit of "actual or purported discharge of duty", the application said. The court posted the matter for hearing on February 26.
Mateen told the court that he had been detained by the city police for his alleged involvement in the 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast case along with Yunus and another person. "Yunus was kept in a lock-up and I was made to sit near the passageway. I heard Yunus screaming and crying and I could hear him being hit with a belt," he told the court. Praful Bhosale and Hemant Desai hit Yunus on the chest and abdomen, Mateen had said. Bhosale was the senior inspector at Ghatkopar police station during the relevant period.