State ready to pay compensation to Khwaja's mother

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Mumbai, Dec 14 (UNI) The Bombay high court was today informed that the Maharashtra government had granted sanction to prosecute PSI Sachin Vaze and three constables and was ready to pay compensation to Ghatkopar Bomb Blast accused Sayyad Khwaja Yunus' mother Asiya Begum the quantum of compensation would be decided within two weeks.

Asiya Begum had moved the court seeking compensation of Rs five lakhs for Khwaja's alleged custodial death, after the high court, on April 7, 2004 directed the State CID to treat statement of a co-accused Dr. Abdul Matin Abdul Basit as an FIR.

Dr Matin has alleged that some police personnel had tortured Khwaja while in custody of Ghatkopar crime unit and he had seen him vomitting blood, just a day before he went missing.

Today, during hearing on Asiya Begum's petition, before a division bench comprising Justice R M S Khandeparkar and Justice Amjad Sayyad, Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar informed the court that Joint Home Secretary P T Goud has granted sanction to prosecute PSI Sachin Waze and three constables - Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai. The Public Prosecutor also informed the court that the state government was ready to pay compensation to mother of the missing accused.

Till now, the state government was averse to pay compensation to Asiya Begum as the investigation of State CID was incomplete, he said. But now since the investigation was complete and veracity of her complaint was accepted by the state after completion of investigation, government had agreed on this aspect. As he sought two weeks time to decide quantum of compensation, the court adjourned further hearing on the petition to January 16.

Counsel for the petitioner Mihir Desai, after going through the list of personnel in sanction order, alleged that the state had purposely omitted names of police officers indicted by State CID, adding that in an affidavit the investigation agency had clearly divulged involvement of ACP Ambadas Pote, PI Arun Borude and PI Rajendra Joshi and their names were now missing from the order of sanction.

On the other hand Advocate Satish Maneshinde, appearing for four officers of erstwhile Ghatkopar crime unit, urged the court for earlier disposal of the petition, saying that the exonerated officers--Prafulla Bhosale, Rajaram Vhanmane, Ashok Surgand and Hemant Desai--were kept under suspension only because of pendancy of the petition.

Under directions of high court in earlier round of litigation, State CID had lodged another FIR against police personnel from Ghatkopar crime branch under section 302, for allegedly murdering Khwaja Yunus in custody.

Police claimed that Khwaja ran away taking advantage of an accident to the police vehicle in which he was being taken to Aurangabad for investigation into the Ghatkopar Bomb Blast case of December 2002.

The incident, according to police officials, took place on January 7, 2003, near Parner, in Nagar District, whereas Khwaja's family suspected that he was killed while in police custody.

UNI

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