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Zaheera makes another U-turn

April 13, 2005 23:46 IST

Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness in the Best Bakery case on Wednesday told the Nanavati-Shah Commission probing the Godhra riots that she did not file an affidavit detailing the carnage.

She, however, confirmed that the affidavit carried her signature.

The affidavit had named some of the accused in the Best Bakery case.

Zaheera made the statement before the commission after she was summoned for cross-examination.

She first turned hostile in the Fast Track Court in Vadodara in May 2003, where she denied having seen any of the accused.

A few months later she teamed up with Mumbai-based social activist Teesta Setalvad and said she had lied in the Fast Track Court out of fear of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Madhu Srivastava, who had allegedly threatened her against speaking the truth.

The case then went to Supreme Court where Zaheera sought a retrial outside Gujarat.

However, she made another U-turn when she parted ways with Setalvad in November last year and accused the social activist of trying to influence her and implicate innocent persons in the case.

Counsel for Zaheera, Atul Mistry, filed an application seeking postponement of her cross-examination till the matter involving her and social activist Teesta Setalvad in the Supreme Court was not resolved.

The commission slated the date for hearing the application on Thursday.

Fourteen people were killed in Hanuman Tekri on March 1, 2002 during the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat.

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