Asiya Begam, the mother of 27-year-old Khwaja Yunus, in connection with the restoration of four suspended policemen facing trial for his custodial death. The court has given the respondents two weeks to file a reply.
Begam, a 72-year-old Parbhani resident, had filed a plea last month stating that the city police chief and the principal secretary of the Home department be held guilty for contempt of the High Court’s 2004 order directing the state government to suspend the four policemen and initiate an inquiry against them.
The petition was followed by a notice sent to the two through a lawyer after the four policemen were reinstated last month as per a decision by a review committee headed by the police chief.
Yunus, an engineer who worked in Dubai, was arrested with three others under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on December 25, 2002, by the Mumbai Police which claimed that he was involved in a bomb blast in Ghatkopar on December 2 that year. The four men were interrogated by the police and Yunus was last seen by the three others on January 6, 2003, when they claimed that he was being brutally assaulted by the police. Police have maintained that Yunus had escaped from custody.
On a petition filed by Yunus’ family and based on the statements of the three men arrested with him, who were subsequently acquitted of all charges, a probe was ordered and the CID concluded that Yunus had not escaped from custody, but was killed.
The four policemen who were suspended in 2004 —Assistant police Inspector Sachin Vaze and three constables Rajendra Tiwari, Sunil Desai and Rajaram Nikam — are facing trial on charges of murder and destruction of evidence. In a reply sent by the office of the commissioner of police on June 22 to the initial contempt notice sent on behalf of Begam, the police had said the 2004 order of the High Court was complied with as the men were suspended after the order. It also said that the order did not have any specific directions regarding the reinstatement of the men.