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Court refuses to discharge two blast accused

August 11, 2005 17:36 IST

Despite recommendation of the POTA Review Committee, a special court on Thursday refused to discharge 2 accused held for conspiring the twin blasts in the city in August 2003, on the ground that there was sufficient evidence against them.

The blasts had taken place at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in the city on August 25, 2003 killing several people.

Hearing the plea of the accused, Mohammed Ansari alias Usman Ladduwala and Mohammed Ansar Shaikh alias Hasan Batterywala, designated POTA Judge A P Bhangale agreed with prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that there was enough evidence against the duo.

The POTA  Review Committee had recommended that the two accused should be discharged from the case as there was no material against them. The recommendation was forwarded in June to chief secretary of the Maharashtra government R M Prem Kumar who was asked to take necessary steps.

The prosecutor, however, argued that police had found RDX and detonators from the residence of the two accused after the blasts and he also harped on statements of some witnesses who had observed the duo were in a 'joyous' mood after the explosions.

Also read: Mumbai blasts suspect held in Bihar

Prosecutor Nikam told the court that the police had relied upon statements of witnesses who said both the accused had remarked that they would create more such upheavals in future. This indicated their prima facie involvement, he argued.

He said the POTA Review Committee had not considered the entire evidence, particularly the seizure of explosives and detonators from the residence of the accused after the blasts. Nikam said the recommendations of the Review Committee were not binding on the prosecution and that he had taken an independent view of the involvement of the accused based on evidence collected by police.

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