A former Congress legislator from Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh on Thursday admitted that he unwittingly gave money to two Delhi blast suspects after they escaped from the September 2008 Batla House encounter. A Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator, however, denied providing any monetary help to them.
According to Abdus Salam, Junaid alias Haris came to his house in Noida Sector 44 alongwith another friend around 4 pm Sep 19, 2008 and asked for some money to buy train tickets.
"I knew Haris as he was the son of a close friend of mine. He asked for some money to buy train tickets to go to Azamgarh and I gave them Rs 1400 to Rs 1500. I did not know that he was involved in Delhi blasts and came to know three days later when his picture appeared in a national daily," Salam told IANS over phone.
Salam said by seeing the picture of other suspects, he came to know that the youth accompanying Junaid that day was Shahzad, a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist also involved in Delhi blasts.
Police had earlier said that during interrogation Shahzad told them that a former legislator gave them money to travel to Azamgarh.
According to police sources, Shahzad also claimed SP leader Abu Azmi had helped them. But Azmi denied the allegations.
"I never gave money to them and I don't know any one of them," he told a TV channel over phone from London.
Salam denied informing police that Junaid took money from him but said he had asked Junaid's father to take his son to police.
Five synchronised blasts -- two in Connaught Place, two in Greater Kailash and one in a crowded market in Karol Bagh - occurred within a span of 31 minutes on Sep 13, 2008. Twenty-six people were killed and over 150 were injured in those blasts.