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New twist in Sarabjit Singh case

December 17, 2010 19:26 IST

In a new twist in the Sarabjit Singh case, an alleged fraudster, who the family of the Indian prisoner claimed had carried out the 1990 Lahore bomb blasts, has been arrested in a cheating case.

Manjit Singh Rattu, arrested by police in Chandigarh on Thursday and remanded to two days police custody by a local court in a cheque dishonour case, on Friday denied any role in the blasts for which Sarabjit had been sentenced to death in Pakistan.

Sarabjit's family had claimed that he was a victim of mistaken identity as he resembled Rattu who, they alleged, carried out the bomb attack.

"I am a victim of conspiracy...I have no role in Pakistan blasts," Rattu told reporters outside the court. "I do not have anything or any role in Lahore or any other blast."

However, police maintained that they are not yet probing the claims of Sarabjit's family.

"We are not probing that angle. Our complaint is related to a cheating case," Superintendent of Police Manish Chaudhury said.

Police said that Rattu had been arrested on a complaint of Gurjeet Singh, manager of Deep Communications in Panchkula from where he allegedly brought mobile phones worth Rs one lakh but his cheque bounced.

Meanwhile, as the accused was produced in the court, a lawyer Arvind Thakur today submitted before it that Rattu was 'involved in the 1990 blasts for which Sarabjit Singh of Bhikhiwind village in Amritsar was facing death sentence in Pakistan'.

Police sought Rattu's custody to recover ten mobiles, which was granted by the court.

Asked about the claim of Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit, that he was the person involved in the Pakistan blasts, Rattu told reporters that "she is telling a lie".

Recently, Awais Sheikh, lawyer of Sarabjit in Pakistan, had said that he had filed a fresh mercy petition as it was mistaken identity and the real culprit behind the crime was Manjit Singh Rattu.

The lawyer had said he has also written to the Chief Justice of Pakistan in pursuit of reopening of the two-decade-old case and had gathered fresh evidence of Rattu's involvement in the Lahore blasts.

"Manjeet was a fraud and had also been arrested by the Canadian police and kept in jail for three years. I have collected evidence on Manjeet's presence in Pakistan at the time of the blasts and a photo of his marriage with a Pakistani woman," Sheikh had said.

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