Mumbai, April 16: Former city police commissioner R.D. Tyagi and eight serving police officials, charged with opening indiscriminate fire on nine Muslims during the 1993 riots, was today discharged by a sessions court.
Sessions judge P.V. Bhavkar ruled that Tyagi and the others had opened fire in the “course of their duties” and not in an indiscriminate manner as alleged by those who had filed the case against him.
Tyagi is the most high-profile police officer to have been named by the Srikrishna Commission that was set up to probe certain incidents during the riots. Seventeen other police officers were charged with mala fide intent, but cases against them are still going on.
The incident involving Tyagi and the others occurred on January 9. They were accused of opening fire on innocent bystanders at the Suleiman Bakery in south Mumbai.
Though they were briefly arrested in 2000 after the case against them was lodged, they were soon released on bail. The other senior officers who were discharged today are assistant commissioner S. Lahane and senior police inspector Ashok Ingle.
Tyagi’s lawyer Srikanth Shivde said the court could not have held the police officers guilty as the firing was “retaliatory” in nature. Shivde said the court was shown evidence that those fired upon were not innocent bystanders.