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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Unraveling the truth behind 7/11 Mumbai train blasts probe

The ATS of the Maharashtra Police arrested 13 people and claimed to have cracked the case.

Written by Muzamil Jaleel | New Delhi |
Updated: April 14, 2014 1:53:40 pm

On July 11,2006,seven trains in Mumbai were rocked by a series of powerful blasts,which killed 187 persons while 824 were injured. Between July 20,2006 to October 3,2006,the Anti-terrorist Squad of the Maharashtra Police arrested 13 people and claimed to have cracked the case.

Two terror attacks,four sets of accused,two names in common

The ATS had claimed that these men have confessed to their crime after their arrest. A charge-sheet was filed on November 29,2006. In November,2006 itself,all the accused had filed written submissions to the Court saying the confessions were coerced out of them under severe custodial torture and that the ATS was falsely implicating them.

We weren’t on the trains…

The ATS had carefully weaved a narrative and nobody even heard the story of the accused. Two years later,the Mumbai Police arrested five alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) men and claimed they were responsible for July 11,2006 Mumbai blasts.

On October,18,2008,DCP Vishwas Patil recorded a confession of Mohammad Sadiq,an alleged IM member,under Section 18 of the MCOCA where “Sadiq stated that he,with the help of other IM members such as Riyaz Bhatkal,Arif Badar,Dr. Shahnawaz,and others had carried out the 2006 Mumbai train blasts,that they had also carried out all bomb blasts in Mumbai after 2005”.

To strengthen the Mumbai Police case,statements of the two other alleged IM members,Ansar Sheikh and Md. Arif Sheikh,saying that “Sadiq told them that he had carried out the July,11,2006 Mumbai train bomb blasts” were also recorded under MCOCA.

The arrest of this new set of people allegedly belonging to IM for their involvement in the July,11,2006 Mumbai train blasts case by another wing of the Maharashtra Police in fact gave a twist to the case,putting a question mark on the credibility of the entire investigation and thus drawing attention to the pleas of innocence of the 13 men,facing trial while behind bars.

Then the Call Data records (CDRs) produced before the special MCOCA court hearing the Mumbai train bombings case have indicated that the phones belonging to three men accused of planting bombs Ehtesham Siddhiqui,Faisal Sheikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan were actually nowhere near that day.

Maharashtra ATS had relied on CDRs to prove links of these July 11,2006 Mumbai train blasts accused with Lashkar-e-Toiba on seven occasion to seek their custody in magistrate courts. The ATS had consistently refused to produce the CDRs and even claimed that they have destroyed the records. Ironically,both the sets of accused are in jail. 

And as serious questions regarding the veracity of the Maharashtra Police’s investigation into Mumbai Train blasts case have now surfaced,here is what the men who were arrested soon after the July,11,2006 blasts for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai train blasts case had told the court in their written submissions about how these confessions were obtained by the police,pleading that they have been “falsely implicated”.  

Name: Kamal Ahmed Mohd. Vakil Ansari (Accused No.1) CR No. 156/2006

“I was falsely arrested by the ATS on 19.07.2006 from my native place BasaPatti,Madhubani in the night. When the ATS arrested me the officer also brought a briefcase which contained my driving license,ration card,identity card (election),photos and documents related to agricultural/house/land etc. This Honourable Court has granted judicial custody on 29.10.2006 and presently I am lodged in Arthur Road,Central Jail. One officer belonging to ATS API Bavdhankar visited the jail and called me in a room and wanted signature on some paper and pressurised to sign the paper but which was refused by me.

The accused no. 10 Suhail is residing with me in the same cell and a police officer namely Mr. Mange pressurised him to give statement against me and Dr. Tanveer and Mr. Faisal with the purpose to falsely implicate us in the blast case as he is getting serious threat to eliminate his family.

I have been falsely implicated in the case and obtained confession by coercion and threatening to falsely implicate my brother and family members in this case if I will make any complaint against police”.

(Written in Court on 9 th March 2006).

Name: Faisal Sheikh Ataur Rehman,Accused No. 3,MCOCA CR No. 156/06 of Borivali Railway Police station

“I was arrested on 19.07.2006 from near Meera Road at around 11:30 p.m. and taken to 7 raasta Unit No. 2,I was detained in a room and suddenly some young police officers barged in and started beating me up. They continued beating me up till almost an hour or more. I began feeling dizzy. I requested them to let me know why I was being assaulted. I can identify the personnel who assaulted me.

My father was brought to custody at 7 raasta on 20.07.2006 and kept detained there till 27.07.2006. During this time he was humiliated and in front of him I too was humiliated. My cousin Numan was also detained for several days.

I was constantly questioned about the Bombay blast and asked to give clues about it. On my denial of having any information about it I was beaten up by K P Raghuvanshi and A N Roy. A N Roy told me that he has never beaten up anybody ever as much he beat me on that day. Few days later,Jaijeet Singh called me to his office through some officers and beat me with fistblows,kicks and slapped me. Then I was taken to Kurla ATS office where Inspector Salaskar,Warpe,Phadke and Dalvi and one Alaknoor beat me mercilessly. They would not allow me to sleep continuously for days and nights.

On one day I was stripped naked by Salaskar and for four days I was not allowed to wear any clothes.

Here at Kurla ATS office,my father was stripped naked and paraded before me and my younger brother Muzzamil Shiekh. Similarly,my sister in law Rifat Shiekh was asked to drop her veil (burqa).

I used to be threatened that If I spoke about the atrocities committed on me to the court I will be beaten up badly and my family will be implicated in this case.

The officers used to insert some chemical through my anal aperture and penis. It used to burn me unbearably and used to make me cry under such torture. I was made to sign blank papers. My hair were pulled and uprooted by them. This was done to me at Kalachowkie and repeated at Bhaiwada lockup.

My legs used to be stretched apart 180 degree by Nawal Bajaj and Jaijeet Singh and if I used to cry they used to slap me and make me silent.

My narco analysis test was unofficially conducted at 7 raasta lock up. Few doctors had come there. They were not from Mumbai.

After that I was taken to Bangalore where one Shalini madam told me that I should confess or she will doctor the tapes and see to it that it reflects that we have confessed it.

Jaijeet Singh and K P Raghuvanshi offered me 25 lakhs for confessing and also offered other helps to settle me abroad and see to it I am safe.

I was made to memorise and script by ATS officer Jaijeet Singh which was asked to be repeated before a videographer. At that time K N Shengal and Sunil Deshmukh made me repeat the script several times. These two officers would beat me up mercilessly if I made any mistake in repeating this script. I was under threat not to repeat anything or inform the court anything about atrocities and information regarding our innocence. Because of fear for my life,constant threat and torture,I never informed the court about the atrocities committed on me.

Yesterday ATS had brought somebody in Arthur road jail to identify me in jail. He did not identify me. The Test Identification Parade was conducted in open place. Earlier in police custody Jaijeet Singh told me that he would do a Khwaja Yunus on me. He would bring some injections and say they will administer it to me. Sometimes they used to call it AIDS injection”.

(9.11. 2006)

Name: Ehtisham Siddhiqui,Accused no. 4,CR No. 156/06

“I was confronted to many persons by ATS officers when I was kept at ATS Bhoiwada lock up between 29 July and 9th October respectively. On 07.11.2006 my Test Identification Parade was held at Arthur Road jails open ground. The witnesses were kept in room together inside the jail. The room had a window and the ATS officer indicated each accused to the respective witnesses from the window. On instructions and indications of ATS officers the witnesses have identified me and other accused.

I and Mohammed Ali was made to stand between 12 dummies. Secondly I and the said Mohammed Ali were having beards and the other 12 dummies were clean shaven without any beard or mustache. So that we both can be easily identified. I was identified by three witnesses in the above said way. Thereafter,I requested 2 star officer who is also under-cell incharge,Mr. Patil to change the dummies. Then the dummies were changed and thereafter no witness identified me.

The witness were brought by one who used to remain present till I stand between the dummies and thereafter he used to take back the dummies. First three witnesses identified me but after he used to go out for bringing accused and I changed my position between dummies and the remaining witnesses could not identify me.

ATS cell ACP Vinod Bhatt,a respectable ATS officer,meet me twice,first time he asked me about myself and my past. When he meet me at second time,I told him that I am innocent. Then he told me that I have read various statements and gone through all investigated reports and papers. He said that you are innocent and all other accused are also innocent. I am pressurized from superior officers of ATS to falsely implicate you and other accused in the said case. He had named specifically ATS chief P K Raghuvanshi,A N Roy Commissioner of Police Mumbai who are influencing me to implicate all of you in the said case. Because we are not getting the real accused persons,and we can’t face the common public without arresting someone like you people. He further stated that I fear God and I will die but falsely implicate you and other persons in the said case. I say that Mr Vinod Bhat was a good and honest officer,he had committed suicide but I say that the ATS officers had killed him because he was not cooperating them to falsely implicate us in the case.

I was given shock treatment by making me nude. There was one machine for giving shock treatment. They used to tie wire on the thumb of leg then they used to give shock treatment at regular intervals. I was also given shock on my private parts also at regular intervals.

They used to tie me upside down that is reverse and my both hands were tied by rope. Then they used to pour water in my nose at regular intervals. They used to ask whether I am pleading guilty and used to continue with the same torture when I used to deny pleading guilty. They warned me that my brother and father will be also involved in the bomb blast case if I do not sign on confessional statement. They also warned that ladies member of my family will be brought and thereafter they will be molested”.

09-11-2006.

Dr Tanveer Ahmed Mohd Ibrahim,Accused No 2.

“During my police custody I was offered Rs 25 lakhs and other benefits for helping the police for framing the case against the other co-accused in the above case and also for turning approver to which I denied the offer.

I say that two witnesses out of eight witnesses identified me at the instance of ATS officer then when I saw this,I told the officer Kartik about the ATS officers playing mischief of pointing me to the witnesses to identify me. Thereafter the officer Kartik went towards the window and had a talk with the ATS officers. Therafter those ATS officer left from the window. And after that my ladyship,the other six witnesses did not identify me. This shows that the ATS officers wanted to purposely implicate me in the above blast case.

I further say that the identification parade as not at all required for me as when I was in PCR some unknown persons have been visiting me at the instance of the ATS officer wherein the ATS officer has been mentioning my name and showing me to the unknown persons and instructing them to keep me in their mind by uttering that “is se pehchan lo,yeh doctor tanveer ahmad hai”. I say my ladyship that the ATS officers have already shown me to the witnesses before conducting my identification parade”.

Date: 9-11-2006.

Mohd Majeed Mohd Shafi,CR no 156/ 06,Accused No. 5

“I was arrested on 28th October 2006 at 7.30 PM from workshop. Thereafter I was taken Narkaldanga police station.

I was taken to Boiwada police station,then to its general lock up. Till the third day in lock up,I was neither asked nor questioned anything. Then somebody posing from Human Rights came and questioned me. I claimed innocence before him. By the time,he left two officers from ATS,one person whom I know as Tavade and the other person whom I can identify started beating me up. They kicked and punched me.

On the same day,some constables and hawaldars forced me down and beat me on my sole with sticks. They forced me to walk for an hour in the lockup. I was not given anything to eat though I was on fast.

This torture and mental torture to me continued till 11th October 2006. I vividly remember that Salaskar on 8th October 2006 and on 9th October 2006 stripped me naked and made me parade before the staff. Therafter he blindfolded me and beat me continuously until I fell down due to exhaustion.

This continued from morning to evening.

One officer whose name I was told as Alaknoore used to tell me he will sell my two month old daughter to some beggar”.

Date 9-11-2006.

Mohd Sajid Margub Ansari. Accused no 7.

“Although my arrest is shown as per police record on 29-9-2006,I have been detained in Kalachowki ATS unit since 25-9-2006.

I have been beaten up badly on 20th and 21st of October,2006 by JCP K P Raghuvanshi,Inspector Khandrilkar,Inspector Tajne,Inspector Sachin Kadam and other eight ten. During same,they obtained my signature on blank papers and narrated some fake story as to my involvement. On 22nd October 2006 I was taken to my home for alleged recovery of SIM card. Whether my mother observed the injury marks on my body and face and made an application for production and medical examination,which subsequently proved that I had around 8 contusions on my body and 2 heating ulcers on my buttocks.

Now given an opportunity,so I say that the injuries as mentioned in medical examination report of 25th October were sustained because of police violence and torture in custody for confessing the alleged offence,which I did not do.

I was constantly threatened that if I did not accept the alleged offence,my family members will also be implicated in same or other case”.

Muzzamil Ataur Rehman Shaikh

“I,Muzzamil Ataur Rehman Shaikh,am staying at 203 A-wing,Taipati Apartment,Nayanagar,Meera Road,East Thana,401107,with my family. Am working in MNC (multinational company) as a software engineer,i.e Oracle Corp OTP Tower,Banerghatta Road,Bangalore.

I want to put to your notice the facts that how the ATS police forcefully and treacherously have framed the bomb blast charges against me and projected my involvement in the tragic incident of 7/11.

On 11 July 2006 I was in my office since morning. I came back to my residence,BTM 2nd stage,29th Main,13th Cross,at around 6 pm and went to sleep at around 9.30 pm. My roommate woke me up and informed me about the Mumbai blasts. I immediately called my parents in Mumbai but couldn’t connect. Finally,after trying many times,I spoke to them and my elder brother Faisal too. Everything was fine.

On 22 July 2006 at around 9.30 am,the crime branch unit-4 picked me up from my office in Bangalore and brought me to Mumbai crime branch office. I was scared and confused too. When I asked the officer the reason behind all this mess,he told me it’s a normal inquiry. The crime branch kept me with them for five days illegally. Then they handed me too ATS on 27 July 2006. And same I was produced in the court who remanded me till 9 August. I was terrified to know that I had been given to PC in railway bomb blast though I had nothing to do with it.

I was taken to Bhoiwada lock up at Parel,then I was made naked and beaten day and night though I pleaded that I am innocent. But the officers become deaf. They showed me some photographs and asked me about them whom I never know. But they keep on telling that I had to tell that I know them. They continuously tortured me and finally connected me to those people who I never saw. When I said yes,they relieved for some time. The ATS officer took my signature on some paper,preventing me to look before sign. As well they took signatures on blank paper.

One day ATS officers gave me some papers and instructed me to memorise it and told me if I cooperate and do as I have been told to,I’ll be released soon. But when I read the content of it,I was shocked to know that I visited Pakistan illegally,taken arms training,knowing bomb-making formula. Some bomb-making formula was also there. And they informed me that I had to go for audio-video recording and I had to say that as it is. I flatly refused. So they took me to torture room and started torturing me mercilessly. They even stretched my legs to 180 degree. I was crying,pleading but they didn’t listen. I fainted and the pain was beyond my bear. Finally I agreed and did the audio-video recording as per their wish. After that they prevented me night sleep for two nights.

On 14 August I was sent to Kurla along with other accused,including my elder brother Faisal. All the accused were beaten mercilessly. I and Faisal were made naked and then they called my father and my bhabhi to the police station and my father too was made naked in front of all of us. I,Faisal and my father were made to stand in front of each other. My father was beaten in front of me. He was abused and insulted. We all were pleading and crying. But PSI Dalvi,Phadke and constable didn’t listen. They called in my bhabhi and snatched away her burqa (veil) and used filthy language. They forced Faisal and me to take the responsibility of the blast,no matter you did or didn’t and if you don’t accept,they warned that she (my bhabhi) will be molested in front of us. Whole night this horrifying scene was going,whole night my old father,I and Faisal were made to stand naked. My bhabhi is having one-and-a-half-year old child and she was illegally detained for three days.

On 16 August night we were all sent back to Bhoiwada lock up. Again the torture started and we all were forced to accept those things that we never did”.

DATE: 9/11/2006

Shaikh Mohammad Ali Alam Shaikh

I was detained illegally from 1st August 2006 to 31st August for enquiry at Kurla ATS office. I was allowed to go on 1st September 2006. On 7th September 2006,I was taken to ATS office,Nagpada and I was detained there till 28th September 2006. I was told that I need not worry and I would be allowed to go before Ramzan.

Again on 29/9/2006,I was arrested and was produced before court and I learnt that I was implicated in the train blast case and booked under the MCOCA Act.

I was being taken to my house and a pressure cooker was taken from my house. When I enquired with the ATS officer as to what was happening,I was told they would make me witness and that I shouldn’t tell anything to anybody. The ATS officers used to constantly ask me that who all had come to my house and stayed for how many days. I used to answer that no guests used to come to my house ever as I am staying in a small house.

On 9/9/2006 at around 1800 hours I was taken for enquiry at Nagpada office. At that time I was taken to Raghuvanshi saab’s (the then ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi) office by Dinesh Ahir sahib (ATS officer). Thereafter Shailesh Gaikward saab (ATS officer) also came there. That time Raghuvanshi saab told me did I know a Mohammad Ali tailor and that he was staying at Road no 7. I told out of fear that I will enquire if there is any such person. Raghuvanshi saab told me that if I didn’t find him,I was to be implicated in this case.

On 26/9/2006 around 5 pm,Raghuvanshi saab came to ATS Nagpada and I was threatened that my house has been used for the working out of the train blast and certain persons had come to my house. I replied in negative and denied the same. I was told that I would be given one hour time to admit the same or else I would face the same consequence as other accused. I told the officers that I was not knowing anything and no guests/any other persons came to my house. My house is measuring 10×15. The house is too small even for myself, my wife and my children,then how can other persons be accommodated.

(Four days after my arrest) on 3/10/2006,when I told officer Sachin Kadam that sir,why did you implicate me falsely in such a case.

On 17/10/2006 I was taken for narco-test.

After this test,on 20/10/2006 at around 2300 hours at Kala Chowki,ATS officers Sachin Kadam showed me photo of Malegaon blast and abused me and told that what all you have done in Malegaon blast and Mumbai blasts you have told us. I told them it is not possible as I am not connected in any way in this case… how can I tell. I told the officers to show the narco-analysis CD .. they did not show me the CD and started assaulting me.

I was taken before Raghuvanshi saab,who had come to Kala chowki. I was crying in front of him and begged him to have mercy on me. Raghuvanshi saab told me that if I didn’t admit and didn’t become an approver I would be implicated in Malegaon blast case.

Raghuvanshi saab hit me on my back … where I was experiencing pain. I shouted and sat down. At that time I was assaulted on my head by belt and fist blows. I shouted due to pain but the officers Sachin Kadam… Raghuvanshi did not show any mercy on me.

The ACP Dhamle came there and assaulted me by belt and fistblows and told me to confess and create a false story…. He told me that if I don’t create any story about Malegaon blast,my entire family will be falsely implicated and harassed…

Raghuvanshi saab used to take such other persons names whom I had never met and heard before and Raghuvanshi saab told me to say that these persons had come to my house. I was also told by Raghuvanshi saab that Pakistanis also had come to my house and that only my house was used. I had to say yes and agree to whatever they were saying as I was scared that I would be beaten again. Raghuvanshi saab had already prepared story on Malegaon blast and had already written the following names on paper – Shabbir Ahmed,Nurul Huda,Rayiz Ahmed,Dr Salman Farsi,Dr Waheed,Wajid.

On 20th,21st and 22nd October,I was assaulted by hanging me upside down by ATS officers. On 23rd October 2006 Raghuvanshi saab again came to me and told me that the stories of both the bomb blasts are made,I would be discharged from the case and I would me made an approver. And every month Rs 10000 would be sent to my house. I told Raghuvanshi saab not to implicate me falsely in this case. Raghuvanshi saab threatened me that if I don’t become an approver and sign on the confessional statement prepared by them,I would be implicated in both these cases.

On 24/10/2006,A N Roy came with Raghuvanshi sahib and told me that if I don’t become an approver and I don’t sign on the confessional statement I will have to remain in jail for a long time and if I co-operate with them,they said I would be released within one and a half month.

…the ATS officers come to Arthur Road Jail and threaten all the accused persons. I apprehend that the ATS officers shall implicate me falsely in Malegaon bomb blast case.

DATE: 9/11/2006

Suhail Mehmood Shaikh

I am the sixth accused in the 11/7 bomb blast case. I retracted my confession on 9th October in front of you in court. Though I tried to gather all my guts to narrate my grievance,I was scared and confused. Now at present I am at magistrate custody and I am writing to you.

On 21st of July around ten o’clock in the morning,crime branch unit II Bombay came to my residence at Pune,picked me up along with my passport,escorted me to government guest house at Pune. There is a room I was taken in and tortured and beaten rigorously for nearly half-an-hour. They mentioned a name,Rahil,Faisal whom I didn’t know. I pleaded but of no avail. They also asked me about my visit to Iran which I told them I visited in November 2002. Then I was taken 7 raasta police station in Bombay,there I was kept illegally till 24th July. During this period,I was beaten and tortured. Again preventing me food,water and sleep. Besides me there were other people who were beaten and thrashed and among them one old man was also there.

On 26th July I was produced in the court who remanded for 14 days PCR. Then it was routine to get PCR in the name of inquiry and investigation for nearly 75 days to ATS custody. Now I am in Magistrate custody. But when I recall those days of ATS custody I become horrified and feel it to be the most dreaded days of my life. I feel it to be a miracle that I am here and alive too. I thank you respected madam that you have relieved us from the clutches of the ATS. In those 75 days of my life in ATS custody I was made naked,beaten with belt and sticks,prevented with food,water and sleep. Various methods were used to create mental,physical and psychological pressure. When the ATS officers realised that I’m innocent they started persuading me to help them.

At Kurla ATS office,they abused us. They forced and made Faisal and Muzzamil naked. And their old father Ataur Rehman naked too and beat them with belt in front of each other. I was shaken,the father and young sons standing naked in front of each other. They were pleading and sobbing and the worst part is that one veiled lady of Faisal’s family was called in and her veil was snatched. Faisal and Muzzamil pleaded before them like small kids. The scene was horrifying. The whole night we were made to stand and Faisal,Muzzamil and their father were standing naked till morning.

DATE: 9/11/2006

Asif Khan Bashir Khan: Accused No. 13

“I was arrested by the ATS on 03-10-2006 from Belgaum,Karnataka when I was on an outing with my wife,son and two daughters from my friends house. During interrogation,the police officers torture me and beat me brutally and obtain signatures on blank papers…. also threaten me that they will shoot me in encounter.

“…..this court extended police custody till 26-10-2006 and I was brought to Bangalore for Narco analysis on 20-10-2006.

“….on 26-10-2006,police again asked for extention of police custody for Narco test and they again carried out Narco test on 28-10-2006 at Bangalore.

On return,they kept me in custody and one officer Mr Deshmukh Sr PI given threat that if I will not confess the said crime,he will rape my wife and mother and falsely implicate my brother and father and children will be send to remand home. .. the police also brought me before DCP Borivali ….he try to obtain signature on some written document forcibly but I refused. I have been regularly tortured by police as I have refused to sign confession. The police also threaten that I and my family will be falsely implicated in the Malegaon Blast case.

”On 01-11-2006,when I was produced before this court as my police custody was complete,they threatened me I complaint to the court,they will falsely implicate me and my brother in Malegaon blast case.

DATE: 9/11/2006

During the initial proceedings of this case,advocate Shahid Azmi had told the Court that he has received a threat to his life because he has filed v/n (vakalatnama) for the accused in the 7/11 bomb blast case before Special Judge Greater Bombay M R Bhatkar. According to an order issued on Azmi’s application,the court had recorded that an anonymous caller had told him (Azmi) to withdraw his vaqalat nama within 72 hours. He (Azmi) had told the Court that his routine and details of his movement are watched by the person who has disclosed the name of notorious gangster Ravi Pujari. Azmi had told the court that he has lodged a complaint with senior inspector of Kurla police station and has requested adequate protection and security to deter any attack on him. He had also informed the court that the Kurla police station has accepted his complaint on 18 October 2006. Shahid Azmi was shot dead by three assailants in his office in Kurla on 11 February 2010.

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