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'93 blasts: 18 accused angry over defence lawyer's exit
September 19, 2006 01:17 IST
Eighteen accused in the 1993 bomb blasts case have dashed off a letter to defence lawyer Nitin Pradhan expressing their anguish over his withdrawal from the case at the fag end, when the verdict was being delivered.
Pradhan had recently withdrawn from the 1993 blasts case in view of the disappointing response of the Muslim community to various terrorist attacks across the country in the past.
According to Pradhan, he had earlier agreed to defend 18 accused in 1993 bomb blasts case on a request made by Muslim leaders.
However, these leaders did not come forward to express solidarity with the victims of the acts of terrorism, he said, particularly referring to the July 11 blasts.
"I feel let down by the community's response. Therefore I would neither defend accused in 1993 case, nor would I represent anybody in connection with the July 11 blasts," Pradhan had told a section of the media earlier.
In a sharp reaction to his gesture, the accused described him as "a combination of Shylock and Brutus" -- characters drawn from Shakespeare's plays.
They demanded that Pradhan return the fees taken by him from their relatives and dismissed his claims that Muslim leaders had approached him to defend them.
It was also not true that Muslim leaders had not condemned July 11 blasts, the letter said.
"A terrorist knows no religion and to call terrorists our co-religionists is absolutely wrong. Neither Hinduism nor Islam or any other religion teaches or encourages terrorism," they said.