Shortly after a sessions court passed the death sentence on Mirza Himayat Baig,he fainted on the premises of Shivajinagar court.
Baig,who was pronounced guilty on Monday,was being escorted by cops to the custody room after the sentencing on Thursday evening,when he sagged and fainted.
The police quickly arranged for water for Baig,after which he somewhat regained his composure and walked groggily to the custody room along with the escorts,eyewitnesses said.
When Baig,in a white shirt with thin black stripes and black trousers,was brought out of the main old building of Shivajinagar court around 5.15 pm,a large number of people gathered around him and some reporters tried to click his pictures but the Anti Terrorism Squad personnel prevented them.
Throughout the day,Baig had looked nervous. In courtroom in the morning,when he was asked for his say on the sentence,Baig broke down and read out a plea from a handwritten note he had brought with him.
Court turns fortress
The city police had turned Shivajinagar court into a fortress with heavy bandobast for the sentencing of Mirza Himayat Baig in the German Bakery blast case.
A deputy commissioner of police,an assistant commissioner of police,10 police inspectors,17 PSIs and 200 constables (including 40 women) stood guard on the sprawling court premises. In addition to this,Crime Branch personnel and the Court Police also manned the entry and exit gates. A Rapid Action Force unit and a State Reserve Police Force were kept on standby.
On Wednesday evening,bomb disposal squads had carried out checks with the help of sniffer dogs and metal detectors to secure the premises, said Inspector Pandurang Sahane,who is in charge of court security.
District Judge Anant Badar and Pune Bar Council chairman Rajendra Umap also took a stock of the situation and the security arrangements before the court proceedings began.
I am very happy we could prove the terror conspiracy under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Our case was entirely based on circumstantial evidence and there were no approvers or any confessional statement. So it was more challenging.
Special Public Prosecutor
It was the last case I investigated. The day I deposed as investigating officer was also the day I retired from police service. It was no doubt the most important case of my life. Without the efforts of all members of our teams,we would not have seen this day.
ACP (retd) Vinod Satav
It is good Baig has been convicted and sentenced. It is,however,not going to give me back my German Bakery. It is not going to make any difference to my life or to those who lost their lives in the blast. As far as other accused are concerned,the government is doing its job and I do not want to comment on that. However,the fact that Baig has been convicted in a reasonably short span of time is a positive development.
We are not satisfied with the judgment at all and will move High Court. The case of the prosecution is entirely based on circumstantial evidence and in such a case it is very important that a continuous link is formed between evidences. This,clearly,is not the case with matter at hand. Also,the ATS failed to explain why it did not visit Colombo and investigate if the conspiracy was hatched there.
We will challenge the death penalty in High Court. I have nothing else to say. We have spoken to our lawyers.
Mirza Tariq Baig
Himayats elder brother