TELANGANA BJP MLA T Raja, cited as a witness by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in an alleged terror case after he claimed to have received threat calls in 2012, deposed before a court in Mumbai on Friday, stating that the investigating agency had not made him identify any voice.
Raja is named as a witness in the trial against five men, all Nanded residents, who have been behind bars since 2012 on terror charges. The threat calls received by Raja, however, have not been directly from the five accused, as per his statement given to the NIA in August 2014.
According to the NIA, the five accused — Mohammed Muzammil Abdul Gani, Mohammed Sadique Mohammed Farooque, Mohammed Irfan Mohammed Gaus, Mohammed Akram Mohammed Akbar and Mohammed Iliyas Mohammed Akbar — were found with two revolvers and live cartridges and that they planned to influence young Muslims to join Lashkar-e-Toiba. The accused denied the allegations and claimed the investigators had not shown any evidence to show they were LeT members.
“It is correct to say that I cannot identify the voice of the person who had called. I was not asked by the police or the NIA to identify any voice of the callers,” Raja told the court during cross-examination by advocates Wahab Khan and Sharif Shaikh.
He said that after he received a threat call on October 10, 2012, an FIR was filed at Mangalhatt police station in Hyderabad against unknown persons. He claimed the caller said he was from Saudi Arabia and the call was made through the Internet with the threat of killing him. The first arrest was made on August 30, 2012, months before this phone call. Raja told the court he had till date received 2,000-3,000 phone calls and that he has given 200-300 complaints.
While he identified a photograph claimed to have been seized by the NIA from one of the accused to be his, during cross-examination, he contended that his photos and speeches were available on the Internet. Raja was asked about the criminal cases faced by him, to which he said he had 40-70 cases against him from 2010 and that three-five cases are registered against him each year, which he claimed were “politically motivated”.
Raja also accepted the contention of the defence that these cases included damaging public property, promoting communal disharmony, obstructing public servant from discharging his duty, rioting, criminal conspiracy. He denied this was his “business” and also the defence’s claim that he had lied about having received threat calls.