A prosecution witness in the 2002 Godhra train burning case on Tuesday alleged that he had never been a witness to the incident, but Gujarat police made him one through “coercive means” and was now “torturing” him to give false evidence in court against the accused.
Thirty-three-year-old Ilyas Hussain Mulla, a resident of Godhra in Gujarat, who is here and is supported by an NGO ANHAD, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court pleading for a CBI probe into his case and for security.
“I don’t know anything about Sabarmati Express burning case. When the incident took place, I was in Palej village which is more than 150 km away from Godhra,” Mr. Mulla told PTI here.
Mr. Mulla, who works as a truck conductor, said he had wanted to appear before the court in Sabarmati Jail, where trial was on, to tell the truth on February 16, but personnel of the special investigation team (SIT) picked him up and tortured him in various ways keeping him in illegal confinement at a circuit house in Godhra.
“Somehow, I managed to escape from the circuit house and came here,” he said.
He claimed that a day before he was picked up by the SIT, he had even faxed a handwritten letter addressing the Additional Sessions Judge at Sabarmati Central Jail telling the truth and also intimated him that he would appear in his court to depose in connection with the case on February 16.
“I don’t know how the letter faxed by me to the court reached in the hands of SIT,” Mr. Mulla, who filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking relief here on Monday, claimed.
Mr. Mulla alleged that after the incident, Gujarat police picked him up and later made him sign a confessional statement in the court despite the fact that he was not willing to do so. “I signed the confessional statement in court and became a witness in the case as they (police) had then kept my father in illegal detention and was threatening to implicate me along with my father in the case,” he alleged.
Mr. Mulla claimed that since the day he was forcefully made a prosecution witness in the case, he tried his best to bring the truth to the knowledge of the authorities concerned but to no avail.
“I appeared before the Justice Banerjee Commission, constituted to investigate the Godhra incident, and told them everything that had happened to him... After SIT was appointed by Supreme Court, I sent two applications to the authorities setting out the atrocities committed by the police against him and others,” he claimed.