Special Public Prosecutor in the 2006 > Mumbai train blasts case , Raja Thakare, told journalists here on Friday that the charge against the lone accused acquitted, Abdul Wahid Din Mohammad Shaikh, was that he harboured Pakistani terrorists. The allegation was supported by one witness who turned hostile. “Apart from that there was no evidence against him.”
The serious offences against the 12 convicted in the case attract the >maximum punishment of death . Arguments on the quantum of sentence will begin on Monday.
Mr. Thakare said, “I will study the Law Commission reports and the judgment in the Yakub Memon case in my arguments for sentencing. The Commission says that death penalty should be gradually done away with, but in terror cases, it is there. I am not going to be vindictive just because there are convictions. Everyone’s desire is that such offences call for no mercy. Law must respond to the society’s cry for justice.”
‘ATS vindicated’ The verdict came as a big boost for the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), whose probe was marked by several twists and flip-flops. “We are happy that the ATS investigation has been upheld by the court. Justice has been done to the victims at least partly,” former ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi told media persons outside the court.
On the questions raised after the arrest of five alleged Indian Mujahideen cadres by the Mumbai Crime Branch, Mr. Raghuvanshi said: “At no point did we have any doubt in our mind about the arrests we made and the evidence we collected. I knew we will be vindicated and we have been vindicated. There was no clue left in this blast as there was no unexploded bomb. ATS was a small unit then and the case was big.”
On the contentious issue of the call data records, which showed different locations of some of the accused, he said, “We never made claims on the basis of the CDRs. Accused persons never carry mobile phones with them while committing a crime.”
The ATS will examine its failure >regarding the acquittal of Abdul and will decide if it wants to go in appeal.