Khwaja's kin not paid compensation, sends legal notice to Govt

A decade after 2002 Ghatkopar bomb blast accused Khwaja Yunus was allegedly killed in police custody, the Maharashtra government is yet to pay his mother Rs 20 lakh compensation, as ordered by the Bombay High Court.

A software engineer, Yunus was the only son of his parents.
Mihir Desai, lawyer of Yunus's mother Aasiya Begum, said he had sent a legal notice to the state home department, asking for the compensation on the basis of a April 10 High Court order.

The court had enhanced the compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 20 lakh and asked the government to pay the amount within eight weeks. "This period expired in June but Khwaja's mother is yet to get the compensation," the notice, dated June 19, said.
Desai said the government was liable to pay the compensation as per the High Court order but they had not complied with the directive.

"Till date, my client has not received the amount in compensation nor has she received any communication from you concerning the same," he said.

Begum had moved the court seeking action against the policemen, alleging that they had assaulted Yunus in custody and as a result he succumbed to his injuries.
She claimed Yunus's body was disposed of by policemen who spread rumours that he had fled from custody and was not traceable.

In 2008, the state government had accepted custodial death of Yunus and agreed to pay compensation of Rs three lakh to his mother. However, she refused to accept the amount saying she did not need "alms" from the government, although later she accepted the compensation.

However, the High Court increased the compensation from Rs three lakh to Rs 20 lakh on April 10 and asked the state to pay the amount within two months.

Enhancing the compensation to Rs 20 lakh, the High Court had observed, "The petitioner has lost her son who was hardly 27 years old and had still a larger part of his life to live.

She has suffered from tremendous mental torture and agony due to events and circumstances in which her son disappeared."

"Accordingly, the petitioner is entitled to and the respondents are liable to pay immediate compensation of Rs 20 lakh," it said.

Yunus was arrested in connection with Ghatkopar blast in December 2002 and booked under POTA. He was in police custody and went missing some days after his arrest.

While police claimed that he escaped from custody when he was being taken to Aurangabad from the crime branch lock up in Powai, Mumbai, in January 2003, for investigations. Police said their vehicle met with an accident near Parner taluka in Ahmednagar district and Yunus escaped from custody.

However, co-accused Mateen had alleged in the court that Yunus was assaulted by policemen as a result of which he died due to internal injuries.

A case was registered against 10 policemen, including encounter specialist Sachin Vaze. But on December 5, 2007, Director General of Police had granted sanction to prosecute only four policemen - inspector Vaze and three constables.

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