Ghatkopar blast case: 16 years on, four cops accused in alleged custodial killing of Khwaja Yunus reinstated
An assistant police inspector and three constables, who were suspended 16 years ago for the alleged custodial killing of Ghatkopar blast case suspect Khwaja Yunus, have been reinstated in service by Mumbai Police, an official said on Sunday.
The four policemen, who were suspended in 2004, are facing trial on various charges, including murder and destruction of evidence, in the Yunus case.
Following their reinstatement on Friday, assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze and constables Rajendra Tiwari, Sunil Desai resumed duty in the local arms unit on Saturday, while constable Rajaram Nikam was reinstated in the motor vehicles department, a police official said.
Vaze, a 1990 batch police officer and an encounter specialist, was arrested in 2004 and chargesheeted in the alleged custodial killing case for concealment of facts.
He resigned from the police force in November 2007.
But, his resignation was rejected pending inquiry against him, the official said.
Khwaja Yunus, 27, a native of Maharashtra’s Parbhani resident, was an engineer and used to work in Dubai.
He was detained soon after the December 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast case.
While the police claimed Yunus escaped when he was being taken to Aurangabad for questioning, a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiry ordered by the Bombay High court on a petition filed by his father earlier revealed he died in police custody.
The inquiry had indicted 14 policemen, but the government sanctioned prosecution of only four - Vaze, Tiwari, Nikam and Desai - who are facing charges of murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession, fabricating evidence, and criminal conspiracy in the case.
A prosecution witness earlier told a sessions court here that Yunus was stripped, and beaten on chest and abdomen with a belt in a lockup.