Yunus' mother accepts Rs three lakh compensation

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Mumbai, Mar 31 (UNI) Ms Aasiya Begum, mother of suspected 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast accused Khawja Yunus, today accepted compensation of Rs three lakh granted by the Maharashtra government.

Yunus, an engineering graduate, arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in connection with the Ghatkopar bomb blast of December 2, 2002, reportedly disappeared from the police custody in 2003 while being on the way to Aurangabad for further interrogation.

However, it is alleged that he was killed in police custody.

Ms Begum had filed a petition in the High Court seeking compensation for the family. She accepted the cheque of Rs three lakh without prejudicing her rights of further claim before the division bench of Justices Billal Nachki and A P Deshpande of the High Court.

Her lawyer, Mehir Desai, also filed another application demanding prosecution of all 14 police officers, who were allegedly involved in disappearance of the accused from their custody. The state government had already given sanction to prosecute four policemen.

The court has adjourned the matter for 10 days.

In April 2004, the case was handed over to the CID. A fresh first information report was filed based on a statement of the co-accused Abdul Mateen.

The investigating agency, the State CID, had in August 2006 filed a chargesheet against the policemen involved in the disappearance of Yunus. The court had said nothing prevented the DGP from calling for case diaries and related papers and examining the matter after the CID's draft chargesheet was sent to him. It further said it expected the State to treat the matter in all seriousness and take immediate action.

Police claim that Yunus escaped after the vehicle met with an accident on January 7, 2003, while on the way to Aurangabad for further interrogation.

In response to Mr Desai's request for some interim relief, the court had ordered that a reasonable amount be paid to Ms Begum and had left it to the State to determine the amount.

In the case, eight policemen including senior inspector Praful Bhosale, assistant inspectors Hemant Desai and Ashok Khot and inspector Rajaram Vhanmane (all members of an award-winning team of the Ghatkopar Crime Intelligence Unit), were arrested and released on bail.

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