IM co-founder Sadiq Sheikh declared hostile witness
Sadiq told the court that Crime Branch officers told him that accused persons arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts and train blasts case were innocent.
Mumbai: Defence advocates on Friday declared alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Sadiq Sheikh a hostile witness in the 2006 train blast case. Sadiq, deposing in the court as a defence witness in the 2006 train bombing case, retracted his confessional statement given before a magistrate. "We declared him hostile because he did not support our case on the point of confession," said defence lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan.
Defence lawyers had sought to examine Sadiq along with two others, Arif Badruddin and Ansar Ahmed, as their witnesses in the case. The trio was arrested in 2008 for their alleged role in various blasts which took place in India that year. In their confessional statements, they had stated that IM, said to be a home-grown terror outfit, was responsible for all the bomb blasts in the country since 2005. Sadiq also told the court that Crime Branch officers had threatened him when he went to the magistrate to confess.
"Crime Branch officers threatened me before entering the Magistrate's chamber where I was asked to sign on confession papers. I was never told what was written on the papers," he told Special MCOCA Judge Y D Shinde. He was then declared a hostile witness and Khan began cross examining him. During cross-examination, he told the court that when he was in Crime Branch custody in connection with the 2008 blast case, he was asked questions about the 2006 train blasts, his involvement, roles of other accused, its funding as well as purpose.
He told the court that Crime Branch officers told him that accused persons arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts and train blasts case were innocent. "They said that you (Sadiq and others) carried out the blasts and the 13 accused arrested in the 2006 train blasts will have to hang," he told the court. Sadiq's cross examination will continue on Saturday.