Khwaja Yunus Custodial Death: With Case Stalled Since 2018, Court Summons DCP with Progress Report

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Fifteen years after an undertrial, Khwaja Yunus, was allegedly killed in police custody in 2002, an eyewitness told the court on Wednesday that police beat up Yunus with belts during interrogation in connection with the Ghatkopar bomb blast case.

Dismissed cop Sachin Vaze who was placed under arrest in 2004 for the 2003 custodial death has also been asked to be present via video conference

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI— A Court in Mumbai has asked the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department to attend court personally on the next date and inform the court about the appointment of a special public prosecutor in the custodial killing case of 27-year old software engineer Khwaja Yunus.

According to Indian Express, the sessions court has also directed dismissed cop Sachin Waze, who was part of the encounter squad with former police inspector Pradeep Sharma, retired ACP Praful Bhosle, police inspector Dayanand Nayak and others in the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai Police be produced before it via video conference.

“Issue letter to the State DCP State CID, CBD Belapur. He is directed to attend Court personally on the next date with requisite information about the appointment of special public prosecution by the state government. SPP has been absent for more than three years and the case has been held up. He shall produce documents about steps taken by his office to proceed with this case since 2018,” the court said on Tuesday, according to the newspaper report.

The court was informed that separate petitions related to the case filed by Yunus’ mother and the accused are pending before Bombay High Court and Supreme Court.

The court hence directed the chief public prosecutor to inform it about proceedings on these petitions.

Sachin Vaze along with other members of the encounter squad were charge sheeted in the Khwaja Yunus murder case after being placed under arrest in 2004 for concealment of facts in the custodial death.

Yunus, a software engineer from Parbhani, was held in the Ghatkopar 2002 Bus blast case. He died in police custody in 2003.

The co-accused testified that they saw police torturing him while in custody.

Yunus was last seen alive on January 6, 2003. A Waze-led police team had claimed that he had escaped from custody.

The CID, however, did not accept these claims and filed an FIR against Waze and three others stating that Yunus had not escaped but had died in custody.

The state government had removed a special public prosecutor appointed for the trial in April 2018. The notification removing him came days after he moved a plea seeking to add four more policemen as accused in the case. Four policemen including Waze were suspended in 2004 and they were reinstated in June 2020.

Waze was then arrested in March this year for his alleged involvement in planting explosives in an SUV near the Ambani residence and was dismissed from the force in May this year.

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