Thursday, August 8, 2013

11/7 accused want judge, cops to testify


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The 13 men on trial for the July 11, 2006 serial train blasts want a judge and four senior police officers to be examined as defence witnesses. 

    The men, alleged members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), have filed an application in the special MCOCA court in this regard, in which they have also sought permission to call six others, including three alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) men jailed for the July 2008 Ahmedabad blasts, as defence witnesses.

    The judge is the then chief metropolitan magistrate of the Esplande court S N Chinchambekar. The police officers are additional commissioners Vishwas Nangre Patil and Milind Bharambe (who were then deputy commissioners), and DCPs Dilip Sawant and Suhas Warke. The application, filed by advocate Wahab Khan on behalf of the 13, also mentions an MTNL officer, a police inspector, a woman who rented her Sewree flat to the IM men, two persons who allegedly sold the pressure cookers used in the train blasts, and the uncle of a wanted IM suspect, Abu Rashid.
    The application states that the 11/7 accused have made the request “to prove their innocence and false implication in view of new material that has come on record during the course of examining defence witnesses”.
    The accused want Chinchambekar to be examined to prove confirmation proceedings of the confessional statements of the IM men, Sadique Shaikh, Arif Shaikh and Ansar Shaikh. “Sadique had told his Mumbai crime branch interrogators that his group was behind the train blasts and those caught for them were the wrong people. We came to know of this through media reports and so we want to call him,” said defence lawyer Shahid Nadeem Ansari. “Chinchambekar had confirmed the voluntariness of the confessional statement of Sadique and the others.”
    Sadique gave the same statement to at least half a dozen police agencies. The ATS took Sadique in custody and discharged him claiming he was lying and had no role in the train blasts.  The three IM men were arrested by the Mumbai crime branch for their alleged role in sending terror emails before and after the Ahmedabad blasts. As per sections 18(4) and (5) of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act), an accused who gives a confessional statement before a DCP-level officer is required to be produced before a chief metropolitan magistrate for verification. Patil had recorded the confessional statement of Sadique, the application stated. The 11/7 accused want Patil to be examined to prove the voluntary nature of the confession of Sadique, who later denied the contents of his confessional statement. Bharambe had recorded Arif ’s confession. 

Seven RDX bombs exploded in the first-class compartments of 7 locals within 11 minutes on July 11, 2006
188 KILLED  
13 alleged SIMI members were arrested by the ATS, led by senior police officers K P Raghuvnshi and S K Jaiswal
    The trial has reached the last stage
    The case is controversial as the ATS arrested SIMI members, whereas several police agencies were told that an IM module was behind the blasts
    The accused say they have been falsely implicated. They have obtained documents under the RTI to point out loopholes in the case. The defence, while examining prosecution witnesses, has tried to show that they have been lying and that they were not present where they said they were

JUDGE, COPS AS WITNESSES S N Chinchambekar | The former chief metropolitan magistrate of the Esplande court confirmed the recording of the confessional statement of defence witness Sadique Shaikh and others
Vishwas Nangre Patil, Milind Bharambe | The additional police commissioners (then DCPs) had recorded the statements of the accused under MCOCA
Dilip Sawant, Suhas Warke | The deputy police commissioners were involved in the probe. Warke is now with the National Investigation Agency
The Times of India, August 8, 2013

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