German Bakery blast convict Mirza Himayat Baig has written to judges of the Bombay High Court,pleading that he was falsely implicated by the Maharashtra ATS,and that the case should be reinvestigated by the NIA.
On April 18,Pune additional sessions judge N P Dhote gave five death sentences and six life sentences to Baig for the February 13,2010 bombing. Baig has already filed an appeal before the high court.
The case has taken a twist following the arrest of alleged Indian Mujahideen kingpin Yasin Bhatkal last month. The Maharashtra ATS has claimed that Bhatkal was with Baig when he planted the bomb at German Bakery. But the Delhi Police Special Cell and Bangalore Police have said that Bhatkal was accompanied by Qateel Siddiqui.
Siddiqui was arrested by Delhi Police on November 22,2011. The Maharashtra ATS subsequently took him to Pune,where he was killed in Yerwada prison,allegedly by fellow inmates.
Bhatkal is currently being interrogated by NIA.
Baig,now convicted prisoner number C-353 at Mumbai Central Prison,has written to the high court in Marathi,in his own hand. The letter was forwarded by the superintendent of the prison to the high court registrar on August 14.
I beg to submit that I have been falsely implicated in the German Bakery bomb blast case. I have no association with any terrorist organisation, Baig has written.
I did not get an opportunity to present my case in the trial court. I could not hire an experienced lawyer. The ATS kidnapped me and kept me in illegal detention… for 19-20 days and I was subjected to inhuman torture. Electric shocks were given to my private parts… The ATS took my signatures on blank papers. At that time,my condition was such that if somebody had asked me to sign on a suicide note,I would have done even that…
He has alleged that the ATS tricked him,and thrust a lawyer on him who did not argue his case well.
ATS personnel told me that they knew I was innocent and that they would give me a good lawyer and release me. They asked me not to sign the vakalatnama of any other lawyer. They told me that they would guide me. After I was produced in court,a lawyer named A Rehman came to me. He told me not to worry. He told me that he knew all the ATS officials,including the investigating officer Vinod Satav.
I was deceived… This lawyer visited me only once in jail. I asked for the chargesheet and each time he would tell me What will you do with the chargesheet? You will not understand it. Till the final arguments,I tried to bring various points on record through my lawyer but he did not listen to me.
Baig has pleaded,Please do not allow injustice to be done to an innocent man. I request you to hand over the matter to NIA for re-investigation.
When contacted,lawyer Rehman denied Baigs allegations. I was hired by his (Baigs) father and brother. It happened in writing, he said.
Baig is now represented by lawyer Mehmood Pracha. We have demanded re-investigation and retrial. He (Baig) is an innocent man. ATS had hijacked the entire trial. He was forced to take this lawyer (Rehman) because no other lawyer was ready to represent him in the trial court in Pune, Pracha said.