Farooq Mapkar, an accused in the Hari Masjid case of 1992-93, was on Wednesday acquitted by the sessions court of charges of unlawful assembly and rioting.
According to the police, Mapkar along with others on January 10, 1993, were rioting at the mosque and to stop the mob the police opened fire. Six people were killed in the firing.
Police had registered cases against 54 people but a Sewri court acquitted most of the accused in February 2006.
Mapkar’s case was separated after he raised objections during the trial.
While acquitting Mapkar, the special riots court presided by Additional Sessions Judge RD Jadhav observed that no case could be made out against him as the prosecution had no evidence to prove their case.
Shakeel Ahmed representing Mapkar said that Mapkar was “falsely framed” in the case by the police. Moreover, the prosecution had no new evidence to produce before the court. Moreover, the witnesses in the court had failed to identify Mapkar.
Ahmed argued that if the charges against the 53 acquitted were the same as those faced by Mapkar, then he too should be acquitted.
In 2007, Mapkar had also filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court, seeking CBI inquiry against police sub-inspector Nikhil Kapse under whose instructions the police had opened fire inside the mosque on January 10, 1993, during the riots.
The CBI had, however, refused to take on the responsibility claiming that it was already overburdened with cases. However, the high court in December last year directed the CBI to register an offence in the Hari Masjid police firing case and to submit a report on the investigations within six months.
In the post–riot 1990s, the Sri Krishna Commission was set up to probe into the communal unrest and submitted a report observing Kapse was guilty of unjustified firing.