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Salem comes clear, confesses

The gangster planned and financed the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 260 people, the TADA court was told.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2005 17:56 IST

Abu Salem has confessed to his role in the 1993 blasts and the CBI has it in writing from him. The statement was put in a sealed cover for handing over to the designated Tada court at an “appropriate time”.

The crafty don can still retract and tell the court — when asked (which he will be as per the rules) — that it was forced out of him. It will be back to square one. And that is the investigating agency’s biggest worry now.

But it is being brave about it. On Monday, sources told HT, “We’ve enough material evidence against him to back up the confessional statement.” There are, it was said, other confessions to keep Salem in the dock.

Though Salem was not among the D-company’s top men at the time of the blasts, he was tasked with handling the shipment of arms and explosives used in the blasts. He had also organised the Dubai stay of some of the accused persons on way to Pakistan for training.

Critically, it was also Salem’s responsibility to deliver the explosives to the bombers.

CBI sources said the information provided by Salem has helped the agency piece together the entire conspiracy behind the blasts — the men, the plan, the bombing and the escape from India.

The agency now has to make out a chargesheet against Salem. That wasn’t possible earlier as he was absconding. So a fresh chargesheet will be filed in the 1993 blasts and this will be only about Salem and his role in them.

With the main case against the don out of the way, the CBI has been questioning him about his involvement in other crimes, like matchfixing. Also his links with Bollywood — from extortion to financing films.

On cricket, Salem delivered a bouncer. He has claimed that most of the India-Pakistan matches played in Sharjah were fixed with the help of a former Indian cricketer. Sources said they have enough from him to launch a fresh probe into the matchfixing case.

First Published: Nov 21, 2005 17:34 IST