Death in custody: 15 years on, first witness examined, says Mumbai cops beat up Khwaja Yunus

Abdul Mateen said cops beat up Yunus with belts during interrogation in connection with the Ghatkopar bomb blast case
Khwaja Yunus was picked up in 2002.
Khwaja Yunus was picked up in 2002.
Updated on Jan 18, 2018 12:30 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | ByCharul P Shah, Mumbai

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.

Abdul Mateen is the first witness examined in the Yunus case.

He said, during the investigation, he was kept with the Powai unit of the crime branch along with Shaikh Zaheer Ahmed, Shaikh Muzammil and Yunus.

Mateen was arrested on December 27, 2002 in connection with the Ghatkopar bomb blast case. Ten days after his arrest, Mateen said the police had invoked the now-repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA).

“On January 6, 2003, Ahmed, Yunus and I were taken to the Ghatkopar crime branch around 11:30 am from Powai,” Mateen told the court.

Mateen said Yunus was taken to a small room, while he and Ahmed were asked to wait in a passage. While waiting for his turn, Mateen heard shouts from the room, he said.

“After 10 to 15 minutes, I heard the sound of belt lashes coming from the room. After some time, a police officer took me to the same room and I saw Yunus in his underwear. He was sitting with his hands tied behind,” Mateen said, adding that constables were beating up Yunus with belts to know about his discussion with other accused.

“One police officer then stood up and slapped Yunus and another officer kicked him in his abdomen and chest. Yunus suddenly vomited blood,” Mateen said.

Mateen revealed that after this, he was shifted to another room with only one window covered by papers. Mateen said he was immediately taken back to to Powai and had not seen Yunus after the incident. After January 6, 2003, Khwaja was never produced in the court, said Mateen.

Mateen said he knew the officers who assaulted Yunus. “I know the officers who attacked Yunus. I can tell their names — Praful Bhosle and Hemand Desai... Mr Vhanmane and Mr Khot were sitting beside Yunus.”

Mateen said he knew the names of the policemen because during hearings they were addressed by their names. Mateen was acquitted, while Ahmed was discharged.

The defence will soon cross-examine Mateen.

The accident version

Khwaja Yunus, a software engineer working in Dubai, was picked from Parbhani in Marathwada in December 2002 in connection with a bomb blast in Ghatkopar railway station that killed two.

The prosecution alleged that Yunus was tortured in jail and this led to his death in the police custody. The police team, which had arrested Yunus, claimed he escaped after the vehicle in which he was being transported met with an accident near Aurangabad in January 2003. The team faces murder charge.

Earlier, Yunus’ father filed a habeas corpus petition. Consequently, the court handed over the case to the state CID in March 2003.

The CID filed a charge sheet against 14 policemen. However, the state government did not sanction the prosecution of the 10 accused against which Yunus’ mother moved the apex court. The petition is yet to come up for hearing.

Meanwhile, in 2012, the session court had framed charges against all accused for murder and criminal conspiracy.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Three members of a family in Ambala allegedly consumed a poisonous substance, leaving a 65-year-old man dead and the two others hospitalised, on Saturday. (Representative photo)

    3 of Ambala family consume poison, one succumbs, two battling for life

    Three members of a family in Ambala allegedly consumed a poisonous substance, leaving a 65-year-old man dead and the two others hospitalised, police said on Saturday. Also read: Who are Vikramjeet Singh Sahni, Balbir Singh Seechewal ― AAP Punjab's Rajya Sabha picks The condition of the 58-year-old wife and 34-year-old son of the local grocery merchant is said to be critical. “The reason behind the death will be clear after the autopsy,” he said.

  • HT Image

    Develop model roads, fix black spots: Gurugram DC tells agencies

    Deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav, who was chairing the district road safety meeting on Friday directed the National Highways Authority of India to ensure the emergency lane at the Kherki Daula toll plaza is made operational at the earliest and at all hours and directed officials to seek a written assurance from the concessionaire. Yadav also said the district administration will ask the highways authority to construct service roads along industrial areas to prevent damage to the roads used for regular traffic.

  • The viral video of two birds was compared to Bengaluru's local administrative bodies BBMP and BWSSB and netizens found it too amusing.

    Viral: Bengaluru man shares meme on 'BBMP and BWSSB at work': See his post here

    An eight-second video of two birds - that seem to be simultaneously digging and covering the same hole in the ground - has left Bengaluru Twitter users in splits, with several claiming it illustrates the functioning of the city's civic bodies - Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board. The video has over 666.6K views so far. Another wrote: “BESCOM and private cable/internet operators are watching from a distance.”

  • HT Image

    Head constable kills self in Faridabad

    Gurugram: A 35-year-old head constable of Haryana Police was allegedly found hanging from a ceiling fan at hTilak Raj'sapartment in the Police Lines area of Faridabad on Thursday, said police. Tilak Raj was posted at the BPTP police station in Faridabad for the last 15 days and was allegedly depressed due to domestic issues, police added. He had returned from BPTP police station a few minutes before he hanged himself, said police.

  • HT Image

    CAs hold ‘puja’ stir outside GST office

    Gurugram: A group of chartered accountants (CAs), led by members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, conducted a 'havan' ceremony outside the Sector 32 CGST office on Friday. This was in protest to catch the “real culprits” in a case, where two Gurugram-based CAs were arrested a week ago for allegedly issuing audited statements of fake companies to claim input credit tax to the tune of 15 crore.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 28, 2022