A key witness in a 2013 case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) turned hostile during his testimony in court. Delhi Police’s Special Cell had charged five people under UAPA for allegedly conspiring terrorist activities in the Capital.
The prosecution had based its case on the claim that one of the accused from Mewat had procured mobile phonaes and SIM cards, which were allegedly used to talk to Pakistan-based Javed Baluchi, “known LeT terrorist”. Prosecution contends they allegedly conspired to abduct a rich person for ransom to be used for terror activities.
While the police had presented witnesses to support its case, key witness Javed Khan, during his testimony on October 16 and 17, told Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma that the other accused had not taken any SIM cards in front of him. He said that he had gone to Gulpada village in Rajasthan along with another accused to attend Mehmood Asad Madani’s conference.
Khan told the court that two people had come to meet the accused. “Accused Subhan had not taken SIM cards from them. The police told me that he had taken SIM cards. It is incorrect to suggest that accused Subhan had taken SIM cards from them in my presence,” Khan’s testimony read.
Khan said the Special Cell asked him to join the probe in Mewat on December 19, 2013 after one of the accused named him in his statement. He said when he pressed further, the police told him that the accused had “not named him” but he would have to visit Nagina police station in Mewat where the “ACP will brief him of some plan”. However, he was absconding for the next 10 months “because of the atmosphere of fear”.
“When we lost all means of livelihood and our family members remained tensed and under fear, we decided to come to the police station… at the cost of any consequences, including our killings,” the witness said in court on October 16.
As per court records, an envelope with the District Magistrate’s seal containing Khan’s earlier statement was opened and the witness identified his signature. However, Khan submitted that his “signatures were obtained on 4-5 blank papers”. According to court records, the Additional Public Prosecutor requested to cross-examine the witness as “he (Khan) is resiling from his previous statement given to the police.”