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1993 Suleman Usman Bakery case: Court pulls up police for ‘casual behaviour’, orders appointment of ‘dedicated officer’

On January 9, 1993, amid curfew, a special operations squad of the police had opened fire on the bakery, the Dar-ul-uloom Imdadiya madrasa located above it and an adjacent mosque, allegedly following a tip-off that rioters were housed in the building.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 12, 2019 2:54:25 am
On January 9, 1993, amid curfew, a special operations squad of the police had opened fire on the bakery allegedly following a tip-off that rioters were housed in the building. (Photo: File)

The pydhonie police on Monday told the sessions court that the “missing” original logbook containing details of calls made by seven policemen, accused of killing nine Muslims at the Suleman Usman Bakery during the 1993 communal riots in Mumbai, has been found at the police station.

On January 9, 1993, amid curfew, a special operations squad of the police had opened fire on the bakery, the Dar-ul-uloom Imdadiya madrasa located above it and an adjacent mosque, allegedly following a tip-off that rioters were housed in the building. Nine persons were killed and 12 injured in the incident.

The trial in the Suleman Usman Bakery firing case had finally began after 26 years on February 13. During the last hearing on March 1, the prosecution had called a witness — a policeman — in relation to a logbook containing call details made by the policemen through wireless units on the day of the incident at the bakery. The prosecution, however, had said that the logbook could not be traced.

The police on Monday produced the original logbook before the court and said that it was found at the police station. Following this, the court directed that photocopies of the relevant pages of the logbook be given to both the prosecution and the defence.

The court also directed Rajeev Jain, DCP of the Special Task Force that probed the case, to appoint a dedicated officer to ensure proper coordination with the prosecution. While pulling up the police due to its “casual behaviour” in conducting the trial, the court directed that a list of proposed witnesses to be examined should also be submitted to the accused policemen in advance.

The prosecution on Monday had called the retired policeman who had typed an FIR on the day of the incident at Dongri police station. The initial FIR was lodged against the Muslim victims with the police claiming that they opened fire in self-defence after being attacked by soda bottles and acid bulbs when they broke open the door of the bakery. The Bombay High Court had subsequently quashed the FIR.

The witness policeman, however, was not examined, as he was neither the author nor the signatory of the FIR.

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