The special riots court on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Police Inspector (PI) Madhav Khanolkar, prime witness in the 1993 riots case against Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar.
The warrant was issued after Khanolkar failed to appear before the court at the last two hearings despite summons served to him. Khanolkar, now retired, was a police inspector at the Nirmal Nagar police when the case against Sarpotdar was registered. Magistrate R C Bapat Sarkar issued the warrant against the PI directing him to appear before the court on June 6.
Khanolkar is the last witness to be examined in the case, with five others already examined.
Additional public prosecutor Mohan Kadam said Khanolkar has gone on a pilgrimage and thus had not been informed about the summons issued against him in the last two hearings.
Five witnesses, who have already deposed before the court, turned hostile with one police constable claiming that he has suffered memory loss and thus cannot remember the incident.
Pandurang Tayde, the police constable, entrusted with the duty of making a diary noting of all the political activities in the communally tensed areas of Nirmal Nagar told the court last week that he had met with an accident in 2004 following which he lost his memory.
On December 27, 1992, former Member of Parliament and senior Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar, along with other party leaders, led a mob of more than 200 people towards a Ganesh temple in Bandra.
According to the prosecution, Sarpotdar made a derogatory speech against Muslims following which the mob turned violent. A case of stone pelting and inciting the mob was filed against seven persons.