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BJP MLA threatens to sue Zaheera

July 08, 2003 17:31 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Madhu Shrivastava, who finds himself in the middle of a controversy in the Best Bakery case, on Tuesday threatened to file a defamation case against key witness Zaheera Sheikh and her family members.

The two-term MLA accused them of 'having conspired with the Congress party to defame the Narendra Modi government' in Gujarat.

Shrivastava, who represents the Vaghodia constituency, told UNI in Vadodara that Zaheera had made as many as six different statements and it was for the courts to decide which of them was the truth.

Zaheera and her mother Sehrunisa had recently disclosed that they had turned 'hostile' in court under duress, with the former on Monday accusing the BJP MLA and a Congress councillor of threatening her during the trial.

The Congress councillor, Chandrakant Shrivastava, is the BJP MLA's cousin.

Denying the allegations, the BJP MLA said he did not know Zaheera nor had he ever threatened her.

"I was present in the court merely because my brother Dilip was one of the defence lawyers and related to my constituency. I had not seen Zaheera as she was wearing a burqa (veil)."

Shrivastava said Zaheera could as well have gone directly to the police commissioner or the court if she was ever threatened by anyone.

"Now a Mumbai-based NGO is using her to tarnish the image of the BJP government."

He said it was not Zaheera alone who had earlier exonerated the accused in the case.

Another witness from the minority community, Lal Mohammed, had done so, going so far as to describe the accused as 'saviours' and saying that the Shrivastavas were innocent.

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