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Abdul Malik Ali acquitted after 24 years

By Abdul Hameed, TwoCircles.net,

Mumbai: A Mumbai sessions court on Friday acquitted Abdul Malik Ali of all the charges leveled against him in a 24-year-old case of murder and rioting.

M R Deshpande, the additional sessions judge, gave order for his release when he was informed by the prosecutor that evidence pertaining to the case had been misplaced and the key witnesses, complainant and investigating officer of the case had died over the years.

The police had filed against Abdul Malik Ali a case of attempt to murder and rioting in an incident that took place on September 24, 1985.

According to the reports it was at midnight on that day that a mob of 15-20 persons gathered at Qazi Chowk near Pydhonie police station and started pelting stones and hurling soda bottles at the window panes of nearby buildings.

The then sub-inspector Prabhakar Borode reached the spot immediately along with his police team. Seeing the police the mob dispersed. However, by that time they had damaged the property worth Rs 25,000 and reportedly an old lady Amina Shaikh who was living in a nearby hutment was injured from a bullet that was fired.

Shaikh had filed a complaint at Pydhonie police station and within some days of the riot eight men were arrested and charged for rioting and attempted murder. Though the motive behind the riots was never established by the police clearly, it is said that the mob had gathered there in search of a person named Shafee Toofani and it was during this that they resorted to violence.

After a few months those arrested were released on bail and soon after the bail seven of them went on missing.

As per the reports when the case came up for hearing in December last year the court issued a non-bailable warrant against the accused.

Abdul Malik Ali, who is alleged to be the main culprit in the case, was re-arrested. The rest seven remained traceless.

However, when the case was being heard the prosecution was unable to bring any witness or the complainant Amina Shaikh to testify in court. According to the police even the case papers were lost.

Abdul Malik Ali was released on Friday while the seven accused are still on run.