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Sabarmati jail tunnel makers complain of police torture

March 11, 2013 23:34 IST

Five Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts accused, who were on Monday sent to another three days of police remand in the failed Sabarmati jailbreak attempt case, complained of "torture" by police.

Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra, while allowing the application of the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), which sought further custody of the five accused, ordered a medical check-up of the accused and asked to place the report before the court on the next day of the hearing, which is fixed on March 14.

Today, on the completion of the five days remand, the crime branch produced the five accused before the magistrate, where their lawyer Javed Khan Pathan raised the issue of alleged "torture" by the crime branch officers, while the accused were in their custody.

"In their effort to extract a suitable confessional statement, the investigating officers had physically and mentally tortured all the five accused," alleged Pathan.

"I am also a citizen. Every year I used to salute our national flag and if you think that I am guilty, you can shoot me, but don't torture me," one of the accused Mohammad Ansar Abdulrazzak stood up during the hearing on Monday and complained.

Other four accused -- Mufti Abubashar, Mohammad Ismail, Nadeem Saiyed and Iqbal Sheikh -- also accused the police of torture.

A daring escape plan had came to light on February 10 when jail authorities stumbled upon the tunnel, what was then, a 26-feet-long tunnel, inside barrack No 4 called 'Chhota

Chakkar' of Sabarmati jail, where 14 of the 68 Ahmedabad serial blasts case accused were lodged.

Remands of the accused were sought for custodial interrogation, following which the crime branch officials found that the tunnel dug by serial blasts case undertrials was 214-feet long instead of the original assessment of it being only 26-feet long.

"We have found out that the tunnel was 214-feet long and was only 3-feet away from the point from where they would have succeeded in escaping. We want to know why they did not escape when they could have," reads the remand application.

It was also claimed by the crime branch that during the investigation, police found 71 ball-pens, 23 wood pieces, 145 meter long green plastic thread from the tunnel dig by the accused.

"We also want to know whether there was a plan to bring any explosives into the jail premises from outside and was there any plan to wage a war against the country," said the application.

All the accused demanded a stay on the order of the court granting further three days of remand on the grounds that the court shall not give custody to the same officers, against whom they have complained of torture and hence they want to challenge the order in the sessions court. However, the magistrate rejected their plea.

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