Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blasts accused turns to textbooks in jail


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Ehtesham Siddiqui, arrested for allegedly planting a bomb in the first-class compartment of a local train in 2006, has taken to studying.
    Lodged at the Arthur Road jail, he has completed a threeyear degree course in tourism and certificate courses in Urdu and Arabic languages and human rights, said Shahid
Nadeem, a lawyer attached to the Jamiat-ul-Ulema, which is providing legal assistance to bomb blast accused. 

    Siddiqui, facing trial under the stringent Mahrashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), is also doing several distance courses, and the court has allowed him to attend Sunday classes at a suburban Mumbai college. He is escorted by a group of six policemen to the college every Sunday.
    Recently, he memorized the Quran in 10 months, Nadeem said.   “On his request, the Indra Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) started an exam centre in Arthur Road jail,” added Nadeem.
    Siddiqui was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad on charges of conspiracy, participating in bombmaking, transporting bombs and planting them. He has told the court he has been framed. 

    “Before arrest, he would sell books. He reads a lot. Siddiqui was earlier lodged in the anda (high-security) cell), but he has now been shifted to another barrack. He is also helping other inmates understand the law,” said Nadeem.
    Siddiqui had filed an application before the MCOCA court last year asking the court to instruct ATS to provide his call data records. He insisted that his mobile phone location would reveal that he was not present at the spot when the blast took place. The investigating agency told the court they had lost the records. Later, the court asked four mobile companies to provide the CDR of all suspects in this case, and the companies said they would charge Rs 33 lakh for providing data. After the court’s intervention, the CDR was provided. 
The Times of India, November 10, 2013

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