Farooq Mapkar, a victim of the 1992 1993 riots, is not ready to give up his quest for justice. Mapkar received a set back this week when a sessions court re jected his challenge to a closure report filed by the CBI that gave a clean chit to sub-inspector Nikhil Kapse and other officials in the Hari Masjid firing case. The sessions court, accepting the report filed by the CBI’s investigating officer, closed the case. But Mapkar remains undaunted, vowing to fight on.Mapkar was shot in the shoulder on January 10, 1993, while offering namaz at Hari Masjid, Wadala. Six people were killed and six others seriously injured in the firing. Kapse was mentioned in the Srikrishna Commission Report, which documented the Hari Masjid case in detail. The report said Kapse was not justified in opening fire at Hari Masjid.

The CBI, after finally registering a case under section 302 (murder) against Kapse, exonerated him and filed a closure report in 2011.The CBI disbelieved all the eye-witnesses, including Mapkar, who named Kapse responsible for the firing as the eye-witnesses had been accused of rioting, murder, attempted murder and rioting with deadly weapons.

Even though the eye-witnesses were acquitted in 2008 and Mapkar was acquitted in 2009 the CBI chose to go with the police’s narrative ­ which Justice BN Srikrishna had characterised as `wholly unbelievable’ ­ and accepted the statement of a witness who contradicted Mapkar. “Had I wanted to give up, I would have done so years ago. I have seen the way Nikhil Kapse shot down the people who had gathered to offer namaz at Hari Masjid. I owe it to them to fight for justice, however long it may take,“ Mapkar said.

“The CBI’s intentions were clear when they didn’t arrest Kapse despite charging him with murder. The Maharashtra government’s Special Task Force exonerated Kapse without even talking to the witnesses. That’s why I wanted a CBI inquiry. But even the CBI has acted in a biased manner.Who should we turn to then?“ Mapkar asked.

In his order, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Laxmikant A Bidwai upheld the CBI’s argument that despite the incident taking place more than five years ago, no new evidence was forthcoming against Kapse and noted that Mapkar had not filed any `protest application’ against the CBI’s report.

However, Mapkar’s lawyer Vijay Hiremath said he was to make oral arguments, which had been agreed to by the magistrate earlier hearing the case. “This order has been passed but we have not been heard. There’s nothing in the order to show that the magistrate has gone through the entire record. We shall challenge it.“

While Mapkar has lost faith in the police and the CBI, he still believes in the courts. “The lower courts have never done justice to me, but the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court have. I have faith in them.“