Khwaja Yunus 'custodial death' trial begins: What you need to know about Ghatkopar blast case

The trial in the case of the alleged custodial death of 27-year-old Khwaja Yunus began on Tuesday with the deposition of a key witness before a court in Mumbai.

Two persons were killed and 31 injured when a powerful explosion occurred in a bus at suburban Ghatkopar on 2 December, 2002.

Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

Yunus, a software engineer working in a firm in Dubai, was picked from Parbhani in Maharashtra's Marathwada later in December 2002 in connection with the blast.

Police had claimed that he escaped after the vehicle in which he was being taken to Aurangabad met with an accident at Jategoan in January 2003.

But co-accused in the case, Dr Abdul Mateen, had claimed that Yunus died due to torture in custody.

Later, a complaint was filed against Yunus in Parner police station.

Yunus's father Sayyed Khwaja Ayub alleged that his son was killed in police custody and filed a habeas corpus petition in the Bombay High Court.

The court handed over the case to state CID in March 2003.

Those facing trial are former encounter specialist Sachin Vaze, Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai.

The high court also ordered CID to close the FIR filed by Vaze, which had said that Yunus had escaped, as CID found that the complaint was false.

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

After investigations, CID filed a charge sheet against the four accused, though it had pointed fingers at 14 police officers for the custodial death.

On Tuesday, Mateen, who deposed before the Mumbai court as the trial in the case commenced said that he was arrested on December 2002 and was produced before the metropolitan magistrate court four days later on 27 December along with Yunus, The Indian Express reported.

Mateen also told the court that he had been assaulted by officials of the Mumbai crime branch in Ghatkopar.

Another report in Hindustan Times said that Mateen, in fact, said that that the police beat him up "like an animal" in lock-up.

The report also said that the case has seen many adjournments over the past few months and the hearing was yet again adjourned for a month on the request of the defence.

The defence lawyer had asked the court not to let the trial begin until the prosecution submitted a case diary maintained by the investigating officer.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 03, 2017 14:50 PM

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