‘Statement against sadhvi under duress’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Statement against sadhvi under duress’

india Updated: Nov 27, 2008 01:45 IST
Punya Priya Mitra

In yet another setback to the Mumbai ATS, two of its witnesses told a local court in Indore on Wednesday that they were forced to implicate Sadhvi Pragya Singh in the Malegaon blast case.

After all the accused in the case alleged torture by the ATS, two witnesses Dilip Nahar and Dharmendra Bairagi, who had given statements in a court in Girgaon, Maharashtra, linking Sadhvi Pragya Singh to the Malegaon blast, have filed a petition before a local court here on Wednesday saying they had given those statements under duress, thanks to torture and coercion by the ATS.

In separate applications in the court, they alleged that they were tortured by the ATS and urged the court to prosecute the Commissioner of Police ATS, Mumbai, Hemant Karkare, and 10 other police officers.

Nahar, Bairagi and his lawyer, Deepak Rawal, told reporters here on Wednesday that the petition would be taken up for hearing on December 8.

Talking to the media, Dilip and Dharmendra said that they had been beaten up repeatedly by the ATS and had made false statements before the court as they feared for their lives. Even after their release they were in hiding as they were not in a mental state of mind to face anyone.

They said that during their captivity, the sadhvi had been kept in the same house but in a separate rooms. Though they had not seen her, they had heard her scream in night and it appeared that she was being tortured.

Nahar is a resident of Rajiv Awas Vihar, Indore while Dharmendra Bairagi is a resident of village Singawada, Dewas had been picked by ATS Mumbai ‘officially’ on October 19 and released in the first week of November in Indore.

The statements of Nahar and Bairagi in the Maharashtra court have been recorded under Sections 164 of CrPC. In their statements, they had detailed how they met the sadhvi, about her motorcycle (GJ-05-1920) and conversations relating to the Malegaon blast and other people involved in the conspiracy and its aftermath.