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Nitish Katara and I were just friends: Bharti Yadav
November 30, 2006 18:54 IST
Last Updated: November 30, 2006 23:40 IST
Bharti Yadav, key witness and brother of the prime accused in the Nitish Katara murder case, on Thursday concluded her deposition in a local court in New Delhi with her lawyer claiming she had denied any love affair with the victim while the prosecution indicated she had turned hostile.
In the in-camera proceedings held in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur, Bharti also denied having any plans to marry Katara saying that it was only a friendship, her lawyer S C Bhuttan told reporters.
"Bharti had also denied having given any statement to police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, saying that she only had a conversation with police officials," the counsel said.
Asked about her photographs with Katara, Bharti was quoted as having said that she had only posed with him as a friend.
Meanwhile, prosecution sources said its key witness Bharti had 'turned hostile' during her testimony, but would not disclose the points on which she had retracted from her original statement to the police.
Special Prosecutor B S Jhoon declined to go into Bharti's deposition, but remarked he was satisfied with her testimony.
"I am satisfied with Bharti's statement and I am thankful to her for helping the prosecution case," he said.
Vikas Yadav, son of a controversial Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, and his cousin Vishal Yadav are the prime accused in the killing of Nitish Katara, who was allegedly kidnapped by them and done away with in February, 2002, because they did not like the intimate relations between Bharti and the victim.
Bhuttan said the prosecution did not ask anything about Nitish allegedly leaving a marriage party attended both by her and Katara on the night of the murder with Vikas and Vishal. He said she also denied having exchanged any e-mails with the brother of the victim, Nitin Katara, after the murder.
The mother of the victim, Neelam Katara, was present in the court on Thursday when Bharti made her testimony for the second day.
Remaining elusive for over three years, Bharti, who is said to be studying in London, arrived last week for the deposition marking the end of a legal battle over her reluctance to come to India.
The prosecution claimed that Bharti's testimony served its purpose and would help the case reaching the "logical conclusion".
"Bharti has helped the prosecution's case and has given a logical end to her reluctance to depose as well," Jhoon said.
He said there were three purposes of examining Bharti -- to know her relationship with Nitish, resentment, if any, in respective families due to their friendship and to prove the presence of her brothers Vikas and Vishal in the marriage party on the fateful night.
"All the three purposes of examining her have been fulfilled and we are satisfied with her replies," said Jhoon.
He said the testimony ran in a congenial atmosphere and there was no instance of any tiff between defence and prosecution at any point of time during her statements.
However, he denied asking Bharti about her delay and reluctance in coming to India for deposition.
Bharti also denied any pressure from the media and prosecution during her deposition, said Jhoon.
While her statements were being recorded, Bharti enquired about the status of her application for the passport, on which the court has sought reply from the Ministry of External Affairs, he said.
Denying any love affair with Nitish Bharti said all the letters and greeting cards sent by her to Nitish were "a fantasy", Bhuttan said.
"They were good friends and she admitted to have written all those letters during her deposition," he said.
But she explicitly denied having exchanged any e-mails with the brother of the victim, Nitin Katara, after the murder and said the same were "false and fabricated", he said.
He also said no question about her being a witness to Vikas and Vishal leaving the marriage party with Nitish on the fateful night was put by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, supporters of D P Yadav, waited anxiously for the completion of her testimony and tried their best to keep the media at bay.
After her statements, Bharti slipped away in a black Scorpio while the supporters tried to prevent cameramen from taking her pictures. They punched one of the photo-journalists who resisted manhandling.