“I have been falsely implicated in the case and witnesses have deposed against me under the pressure of the prosecuting agency — the CBI,” said gangster Abu Salem, when asked by the court to give his say on the evidence produced by the prosecution in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case.
The designated TADA court on Monday completed the procedure of recording the statement of all the seven accused facing trial in the case.
They were asked around 15,000 questions over the course of a month based on the evidence produced by the central agency against them.
The seven accused are Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Shaikh, Mohammad Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya and Abdul Qayyum.
All the accused have denied their involvement in the blast and have said they have been falsely implicated.
After the statements were recorded, the court individually asked all the accused if they have any comments on the case. The court posed two questions to them — first, why have all the witnesses deposed against the accused and what else would they like to say on the prosecution’s case. The court also asked if they would like to cross-examine defense witnesses.
Replying to the questions, first Qayyum said he has no role and would not like to bring any witnesses. Salem in his reply said, “All the witnesses have deposed against me under pressure from the CBI. I am innocent.”
Salem also said he would file a written statement and would like to bring four to five witnesses.
The court asked him to submit his written statement and a list of witnesses by next week.
Meanwhile, Dossa said he would also submit his written statement,while Firoz said his is a case of mistaken identity and he is not Firoz but Hamza.
He submitted he would like to examine defense witnesses, a list of which he would give by Tuesday.
Shaikh, Siddiqui and Tahir also denied all the allegations and said they would submit a written statement, but refused to bring any more witnesses.