Mumbai: A man who worked at the Suleman Usman Bakery in Mohammad Ali Road in Dongri during the 1993 Bombay riots, where an alleged firing by the police caused eight deaths and left many wounded, told the court on Monday that the police had entered the bakery, assaulted workers with lathis and rifle butts and shot one of them.
The man, who is an eye witness in the case, told the court that around 25 to 30 policemen had entered the bakery and some of them, coming to the second floor, started to beat those present there, including him. “Police came to the second floor and started beating us with lathis and rifle butts. They made us gather in the hall of the floor. I was among the crowd. They started asking us where our guns were,” he told the court. He continued to depose saying that they all told the policemen they were workers and knew nothing about guns. “They did not pay heed and started to beat us harder,” he said.
Police then asked one of them to stand up. Once he did, a policeman in a White shirt shot at him, the witness told.
He said that the person they shot at was Shamshaad.
When he was shown the rifles, pistols, AK-47s, SLRs and carbine machine guns seized from the police, he identified a rifle as the one with which Shamshaad was shot by the policeman. The witness, however, said that he could not identify the policemen as the incident occurred a long time ago.
Seven policemen now face trial in the case, which had the then joint commissioner of police RD Tyagi as the main accused. Tyagi and nine others have been discharged and the two accused have since died. Police claim that they had fired in retaliation.