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3 accused confess in Malegaon blast case, 2 retract later

December 06, 2006 23:59 IST
In a new twist to Malegaon bomb blasts probe, three accused on Wednesday made a confession before a competent authority about their involvement in the conspiracy but soon thereafter two of them retracted before a magistrate, saying they had not made a voluntary disclosure.

Farooq Anwar Iqbal Maqdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid purportedly made a confession this morning before a Deputy Commissioner of Police, a competent authority to record confession under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Later, Shaikh Mohammed Ali and Asif Khan alias Junaid retracted their confession before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, saying it was not given voluntarily.

This was revealed to a special court by the accused themselves when they were produced before it for remand.

The development assumes significance as under MCOCA, a confession does not have evidential value if it is not a voluntary and true disclosure.

Altogether five accused were produced before judge Mridula Bhatkar who remanded four of them -- Salman Farsi, Farooq Anwar, Shaikh Mohammed and Asif Khan to judicial custody till December 15 and Mohammed Zahid Abdul Majid to police custody till December 16.

Seeking their remand, public prosecutor Raja Thakre said the accused had played a vital role in the conspiracy and investigations conducted by Anti-Terrorist Squad so far had revealed involvement of more persons who are yet to be arrested.

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