Its the first step towards justice,said Farooq Mapkar as he stepped out of the CBI office on Tuesday,the first day he was summoned,not as an accused but as the complainant in the Hari Masjid firing case.
The agency has been ordered to probe the 16-year-old Hari Masjid firing during the 1992-93 riots. The CBI plans to file an FIR within 15 days. Mapkar has been battling for an independent investigation. It took us 16 years to convince the state government that it cannot shut its eyes to inhumanity and bias by the police. With the CBI taking up my case,I feel elated, he said.
On January 10,1993,five to six policemen headed by assistant police inspector Nikhil Kapse allegedly opened indiscriminate fire on people offering prayers outside the Masjid. Mapkar,who was offering Namaz,took a bullet in the abdomen. Six others also got hit and all of them were allegedly dragged to the R A K Marg police station. According to Mapkars affidavit filed before the High Court,one Shamshuddin who was also injured was again fired at from point blank range,leading to his death. Mapkar was taken to hospital and discharged stating no bullet had hit him,the affidavit said.
Mapkar said he spent a week in jail with a bullet in his abdomen,before he could get bail.
Since then,he had been demanding that an FIR be lodged against Kapse,He finally moved the High Court seeking a CBI inquiry. The Maharashtra government was ready to hand over the case to the CBI,but the CBI on several occasions told the High Court that its hands were full,besides the case was old and a Special Task Force had given the police a clean chit.
Now the agency is expediting investigations. We have called for all the papers and are treating the first letter by Mapkar as the FIR. Once the paperwork is completed,we will file a complaint, said an officer on the condition of anonymity.
We are hopeful the CBI will carry out an unbiased and complete investigation, said Advocate and activist Shakil Ahmed who has filed several petitions demanding the implementation of the Srikrishna Commission report which had indicted Kapses team for opening fire without provocation. But a departmental inquiry found that the police were not at fault. The police had filed a case of rioting against Mapkar which is still pending in a sessions court.