V.S. Palaniappan

Coimbatore serial blasts case

Coimbatore: The failure of the prosecuting agency to answer many questions related to investigations into the serial blasts has weakened its case, defence counsel P. Thirumalairajan argued before Special Court Judge K. Uthirapathy on Wednesday.

Mr. Thirumalairajan said the prosecution had accused Syed Ahmed Basha and Mohammed Ansari of having decided on the spots for planting bombs. Basha allegedly ordered assembling of bombs. But no evidence was produced to prove the charges.

He was placing his arguments along with Bhavani B. Mohan and Mohammed Abubacker. T. Balasundaram and T.A. Selvaraj represented the prosecution.

Mr. Thirumalairajan said charges relating to procurement of accessories and arrangements for assembling bombs had not been proved.

Referring to the arrival of National Security Guards from Pune and New Delhi for defusing the car bomb planted on East Lokmanya Street in R.S. Puram on February 14, 1998, he wanted the prosecution to explain from where the undertrials got the technical knowhow. None of them was qualified in Chemistry or Electronics. Most of them were high school students. A few were B.Com graduates.

When 18 Muslim youth were killed, it was quite natural for the community to resent the killings and discuss the same. Quoting a Supreme Curt ruling, he said, "Mere knowledge or participation in discussions per se does not constitute conspiracy." There was no indulgence or agreement of thoughts among the accused to make them conspirators.

In fact even as per the deposition of the Chief Investigating Officer (CIO), the undertrials were not aware of those involved in the November 1997 riots. Hence the charge of retaliation does not hold good.

Videographing

The videographing of the November 1997 riot victim's funeral was done by other agencies for circulation among Muslim communities overseas and initiating action with human rights organisations, he added.

Mr. Thirumalairajan also said that the charge under section 153A of the IPC for promoting communal hatred had not been proved with any substantive evidence.

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