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Lawyers grill Best Bakery witness

November 17, 2004 17:50 IST

A series of contradictions and omissions surfaced in the cross-examination of witness Yasmin Shaikh in the Best Bakery case as defence lawyers grilled her on the basis of her police statement and deposition before the trial court on Wednesday.

Yasmin, estranged sister-in-law of prime witness Zaheera Shaikh, had yesterday identified 11 accused in court saying they were members of the mob that attacked the bakery on March 1, 2002. She also described the events that unfolded on that day.

Best Bakery trial: Zaheera recants

Replying to the cross-examination by defence lawyer Adik Shirodkar, Yasmin said she had informed the police that the accused Jagdish and Chintoo had threatened to rape her by turns but could not say why the policemen had not recorded this in her statement.

"I had even informed them (the police) about what they had threatened to do after raping me," she said but could not give any reason why this was not recorded in her statement.

Asked what she meant by saying in her deposition that accused Munna and Mafat were in the rape act, she said both had threatened to rape her along with Jagdish and Chintoo.

Asked whether it was shameful for any woman, more so a married woman bearing a child, to hear that she would be raped, Yasmin was angry and asked the lawyer, "What do you want to establish?"

The witness said she had informed the police that Munna and Mafat had also threatened to rape her. She told the court that she heard Jagdish, Chintoo, Mafat and Munna saying that they would rape her 'by turns' but could not say why this was not recorded in her statement recorded by police.

She also could not give any reason why the police had not recorded her version that the rioters had robbed her gold chain worth Rs 10,000.

Asked if the chain was costly for her, Yasmin said it was precious because it was given to her during her marriage.

She also could not explain why the police had not recorded in her statement that her four-month-old daughter received a stone injury and also that groups of people holding swords and burning torches arrived at the bakery from different directions.

Yasmin was flabbergasted when Adik Shirodkar told her that social worker Thakker, whom she had named in her police statement as a member of the crowd on the ill-fated day, had passed away one year before the incident.

She was unable to say how the name of social worker cropped up in her police statement.

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