Mumbai cops’ reason for custody: Victim Muslim, accused Hindu

via published on September 4, 2010

Officers from the Marine Drive police station on Thursday told a magistrate’s court that they needed the custody of a 30-year-old businessman arrested after he rammed his car into a two-wheeler, killing one person, because, among other reasons, the victim was a Muslim while the accused a Hindu.

The court called the contention of possible communal disharmony frivolous, but remanded the accused in police custody for further investigation.

Sushil Kothari, who runs a construction business, was sent in police custody till September 4. He was arrested after he rammed his Honda Accord into a scooter on Marine Drive around 1.30 am. Nagpada resident Haji Zulfikar Qureshi (48), who was heading for Malabar Hill on scooter with Abdul Jalil Sheikh (52), died on the spot. Sheikh was admitted to Saifi Hospital with severe back and leg injuries.

The Marine Drive police told the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court while seeking Kothari’s custody that if he was released on bail, there could be communal disharmony and riots. “Not only will his bail flare up communal tensions in the area, but also the Muslim community would stop believing in law,” the remand application stated.

The magistrate turned down the police’s claim and remanded Kothari in police custody after observing that more investigation was required in the case. “Communal tension is a frivolous claim to grant custody,” the court observed.

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