September 2, 2012 2:57:42 am
A week from now,journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi,arrested on March 6 for his alleged role in the bomb attack on an Israeli official in the heart of New Delhi,will have spent six months in police and judicial custody.
Named in a chargesheet filed a month ago,Kazmi was accused by Delhi Police of involvement in a criminal conspiracy leading to the February 13 attack on an Israeli embassy vehicle carrying Tal Yehoshua-Koren.
The charges-heet,filed in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav,also named four Iranian suspects Hous-hang Afshar Irani,Masoud Sedaghatzadeh,Seyed Ali Mahdiansadr and Mohammed Reza Abolghashemi.
But the charg-esheet,which relates to offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,Explosive Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code,is inconsistent with the earlier claims of police about Kazmi,events leading to the attack and the probe that followed. Consider:
THE MOBILE PHONE NETWORK
According to the chargesheet,police in Malaysia detained Masoud Sedaghatzadeh a day after the attack. His associate Nourazi Shaya Ali Akbar was also detained. Papers submitted by Additional DCP Sanjeev Yadav claimed that the two men had applied for Indian visas in 2011. In their application,the men had listed three mobile phone numbers 989123944144,989125444652 and 982144505272.
Police claimed that mobile number 989123944144 had been in touch with an Indian mobile phone in 2011. The Indian number,8860484945,was used by Houshang Afshar Irani,the man who is suspected to have planted the bomb on the embassy vehicle. Police said calls between the two numbers were made on April 25,May 4,May 5,May 6 in 2011. Another call happened on January 29,2012,two weeks before the attack.
On the page that mentions the dates of calls between the two numbers,Additional DCP Yadav also states that Irani used the number 8860484945 to be in touch with Kazmi on the number 9811272415. But the chargesheet does not mention any date or duration of calls between Irani and Kazmi. Nor does it say how many calls were exchanged between the two numbers. Considering that both were Indian mobile phone numbers,it should not have been difficult for police to obtain call detail records.
THE COLOUR OF THE MOTORCYCLE
Statements of more than one eyewitness have been recorded by police. But the only person who claims to have witnessed the bomb being attached to the embassy vehicle is Gopal Krishnan,who said the bomb planter was on a red motorcycle. Police claim to have recovered a black Hero Honda Passion motorcycle used in the attack.
THE MONEY TRANSACTION CLAIM
Ten days after Kazmis arrest,police told a press conference that he and his wife had received over Rs 21 lakh in foreign remittances in their bank accounts,and that greed was the motive. However,there is no mention of this in the chargesheet. The only recovery shown by police is $ 1,250 (about Rs 70,000) which they claim is part of the $ 2,500 paid to Kazmi for allegedly supplying information. But police have submitted no proof to back this claim.
The foreign remittance claim is based on a confession statement by Kazmi. But in the same statement,police have noted that Kazmi refused to sign it. The confession statement notes that Rs 2 lakh was sent from the US to Kazmis wife by their son-in-law Raja Asgar Ali. That money was transferred in 2009,three years before the attack. Police papers,however,claim that Kazmi was told of the attack plan only in 2010.
THE HOTEL REGISTER,THE UNOCCUPIED ROOM
Police claim to have recovered traces of TNT from the ceiling of Room 305,Hotel High 5,Karol Bagh,on March 13. A CFSL report said traces of TNT were present in magnetic strips,black tape,a plastic scale,a pair of scissors,and a small piece of cardboard. The exhibits were submitted for forensic examination by the polices Special Cell.
Citing the hotel register as evidence,police said this was the room in which Irani had stayed,and checked out on February 13,the day of the attack. For a whole month after that till the recovery of TNT traces on March 13 no one stayed in the room.
Police said they had learnt about Iranis stay in the hotel on February 26,and had asked the management to seal the room. A look at the hotel register entries for a month after the attack reveals that while all rooms were used,Room 305 remained unoccupied. Why was this room not given out between February 13,when Irani checked out,and February 26,when police found out about his stay there?
Police claimed that Kazmi helped Irani conduct a reconnaissance of the area around the Israeli embassy in his Alto car. But they have not produced any evidence so far to back that claim. Irani was said to have spent at least 13 days in the country before the attack,but there is no evidence of any conversation or meeting with Kazmi.
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