1993 Suleman Bakery firing case: Court orders verification of police wireless transcripts
As part of the evidence, the prosecution has produced two audio cassettes containing recordings of wireless messages received by the police control room from the areas where riots took place on that d
MUMBAI: A court hearing a case against policemen accused of opening fire at Suleman Bakery during the 1993 Mumbai riots has ordered that recordings of police wireless messages be heard to check if their transcription is correct.
Seven policemen are accused of opening fire indiscriminately inside the Suleman Bakery in South Mumbai on January 9, 1993, killing nine persons.
As part of the evidence, the prosecution has produced two audio cassettes containing recordings of wireless messages received by the police control room from the areas where riots took place on that day.
In 2016, defence lawyers claimed discrepancies in the recordings and the transcripts submitted by the prosecution.
They demanded that the recordings be played in the court or the accused be provided copies of the cassettes.
The actual recordings showed that police had fired in retaliation, defence claimed. The trial court ordered Thursday that the concerned official in the court registry should compare contents of the cassettes with the transcripts in the presence of lawyers from from both sides.
"A report shall be submitted stating whether the transcripts are in line with the contents of the cassettes," the court said, adjourning the hearing to November 21.
While the incident took place in 1993, an FIR was registered only in 2001 after witnesses, including some bakery workers, teachers and students of a nearby madrassa gave statements before Justice B N Srikrishna Commission which probed the Mumbai riots.
Initially, 17 policemen including then joint commissioner of police R D Tyagi were named in the case. But Tyagi and nine others were discharged by the trial court for lack of evidence.
The order was upheld by the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court. Seven police personnel -- Kalyanrao Vidhate, Sahebrao Phad, Sudhir Bane, Mohan Bhise, Purshottam Naik, Chandrakant Mohite and Ramakant Motling -- are facing trial on various charges including murder.
The policemen's defence is they fired only in retaliation when there was firing from inside on the police team raiding the bakery.
Around 900 people died in riots in Mumbai following the demolition of Babri masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992.