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Court issues notices on police firing after mosque blast

The AP HC has issued notices to senior Govt officials and the state police chief for the police firing on a mob protesting after the May 18 bomb blast at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2007 04:51 PM IST

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday issued notices to senior government officials and the state police chief for the police firing on a mob protesting after the May 18 bomb blast at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

The court issued notices to 17 respondents including principal secretary (home), director general of police, city police commissioner and Hyderabad district collector on a petition filed by the Civil Liberties Committee.

The officials have been asked to explain why murder cases should not be booked against the policemen who opened fire. Chief Justice GS Singhvi has given them three weeks time to file their response.

Notices have also been issued to nine policemen who opened fire. The court admitted for hearing a petition filed by Lateef Mohammed Khan, seeking a direction to police to book murder cases against the policemen responsible for "unprovoked" firing on protestors.

Five people were killed when police opened fire on a group of protestors near the mosque a couple of hours after the bomb blast during Friday prayers killed nine worshippers.

The petitioner alleged that the firing was aimed to kill protestors and disputed the police claim that the protestors were trying to torch a petrol bunk. He pointed out that the policemen used sophisticated weapons like Self Loading Rifles (SLRs) to target the protestors.

He said he was forced to approach the court as concerned police station refused to register a First Information Report (FIR) on the police firing. He also sought an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the police firing.

Police had claimed after the firing that the violent mob was trying to set afire a petrol bunk.

A magisterial inquiry into the police firing and a CBI probe into the blast has already been ordered. State human rights commission last month ordered an inquiry into police firing.

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