‘My confessional statement was taken forcibly’

Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, alleged handler of the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, on Friday told the Sessions Court here that he was not Abu Jundal and his confessional statement was taken forcibly.

Ansari, who is currently in Delhi’s Tihar jail, told the court through video conferencing that the name Abu Jundal had been wrongly given to him. His counsel Ejaj Naqvi, told The Hindu that Ansari told the court that all allegations levelled against him were false.

“There was no confession given by him. He spoke what the crime branch, which is investigating the case, asked him to. He was forced to make the statement,” said Mr. Naqvi.

Ansari also denied that Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist who was caught by the police alive, during the 26/11 terror attacks and was later hanged to death, identified him. “There was no identification parade and hence claiming that Kasab identified him will be wrong,” said Mr. Naqvi.

In August 2012, both were brought together in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, where Kasab allegedly identified Ansari as the handler of the terror attacks. Ansari in his statement recorded before the magistrate in Mumbai said that he taught Hindi to Kasab and other terrorists before the attacks and also helped them to familiarise themselves with the landscape of Mumbai. It was also alleged that he was present in the Karachi control room from where the attack was controlled.

Ansari was originally produced in court in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. He belongs to Beed district in Maharashtra. After 2006, he escaped to Bangladesh and then to Pakistan. After the terror attacks on Mumbai, he was allegedly asked to move to Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport. After hard rounds of negotiations with Saudi Arabia, he was deported to India in June 2012.

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