Khwaja Yunus case: State cancels appointment of public prosecutor

The judge of a fast track court hearing a case of alleged custodial death of 2002 Ghatkopar blast accused Khwaja Yunus today said that the appointment of the special public prosecutor for case has been cancelled by the state government.

Additional Session Judge V S Padalkar said appointment of special public prosecutor Dhiraj Mirajkar has been cancelled by the judiciary department.

Mirajkar was the third public prosecutor in the 2003 case.

Earlier, advocate Yug Chowdhary had resigned from the case without attributing any reason and in 2013, advocate RB Mokashi had resigned as well.

Only one witness has been examined in the case so far.

Yunus, a software engineer working in Dubai, was picked up from Marathwada's Parbhani in December 2002 in connection with the blasts that took place in suburban Ghatkopar at that time.

While police had claimed that Yunus escaped in January 2003 after the vehicle in which he was being taken to Aurangabad met with an accident in Jategaon, a co-accused in the blast case Abdul Mateen alleged that Yunus died in police custody.

While police filed a case in Parner police station over the "escape" of Yunus, the high court ordered the state CID to close the FIR as an inquiry had found it to be fake.

The CID then filed a fresh FIR on the basis of the statement given by Mateen, who said that Yunus was tortured to death.

A Criminal Investigation Department inquiry indicted 14 policemen, but the government sanctioned the prosecution of only four--Sachin Waze, Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai -- for murder.

In February, the CID had approached 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 here that he had seen Bhosale, 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.

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