Mumbai Riots: 10 acquitted after 18 years

Mumbai: Mumbai’s Session Court acquitted 10 Kurla residents in the 1992-93 communal riots after a trauma of 18 years. Dismissing police version, the judge S.J. Markade did not find prosecution charges convincing and acquitted them for lack of evidence. He found that the two witnesses produced by police were tutored.

The persons were arrested on 29 December and 30 December 1992 in the Kurla Nagrik Sahakari Bank and Pipe Road locality for pelting stones in areas belonging to the majority community. A person, Pande, tried to drive them away and when he could not succeed; he informed the police. Kurla police inspector Shinde and his junior submitted the above plea while producing tube lights, bottles and other articles as evidence.

Defense counsels Shafi Sheikh and Amanatullah Khan argued that they were innocent and were picked by police from their homes. Except police witness no independent witness had recognised them and the evidence submitted in the court can be easily procured from the market. Expressing their gratitude to Almighty; the accused felt relieved. They have undergone a lot of trauma during the past eighteen years. Whenever there was any flare-up anywhere they had to report daily at the police station or were kept under custody as long as tension prevailed.

The question arises that these were persecuted for 18 years and denied human rights on all the occasions inspite of their innocence; is a mere clean chit enough? What about the mental torture and humiliation they had been subject to? Don’t they deserve compensation?

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 4

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