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Without proof of bias, can't shift Mumbai violence probe to CBI: HC

August 27, 2012 19:06 IST
Refusing to transfer probe in the recent violence in south Mumbai to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Bombay high court on Monday said even if it is accepted that the police firing on the mob was wrong, it cannot be said that the investigations conducted are biased.

A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and R Y Ganoo was hearing a petition filed by three persons -- Nazar Siddique, Shaikh Junaid Abdul Rashid and Akbar Raunak Ali Khan -- alleging that the police shot at them without any provocation. The trio, who sustained minor injuries during the riots, are currently recuperating at J J Hospital in Mumbai.

The trio have sought a CBI probe in the matter, alleging that the police would not conduct a fair probe as their own personnel were injured in the protest. Their lawyer Ejaz Naqvi argued that the police had opened fire on the petitioners without any provocation and warning.

"Even if we accept your argument that the firing was wrong and was instigated by the police that does not show that the investigation being conducted by a special investigation team of crime branch is incompetent and biased. Show us at least one circumstance or reason to prove that police are biased. Without that we cannot transfer case to the CBI," Justice Khanwilkar said.  

Regarding the petitioners' prayer to direct State Humam Rights Commission to inquire the matter, the bench said the three can approach the commission themselves with their grievances, following which Naqvi withdrew the petition. The trio had sought compensation of Rs 10 lakh each from the government.

Public prosecutor Revati Dhere informed the court that the Special Investigation Team has already recorded the trio's statements and is ascertaining their role in the incident. "Out of the total accused arrested so far, three persons have been discharged as probe revealed that they had no role to play in the riots," she said.

Two youths were killed and 52, including 44 policemen, injured on August 11 when a rally called to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent.

The protesters went on a rampage, attacking the police, including women constables, torching media and police vans, smashing cameras of photo journalists and damaging buses.



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