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26/11 Mumbai terror attack: Was never arrested from Delhi, claims Abu Jundal

Abu Jundal is accused of being co-conspirator, suggesting attacks locations in the city.

mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2018 10:26 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,mumbai terror attack,26/11 attack
The claim was made after the prosecution examined Sitaram Gharat, who retired from the passport office in Mumbai.(HT File )

In a twist to the prosecution case, handler of the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in the city, Zabiuddin Sayyed alias Abu Jundal, has claimed that he was never arrested from Delhi airport, but was deported from Saudi Arabia on a temporary passport issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The claim was made after the prosecution examined Sitaram Gharat, who retired from the passport office in Mumbai.

The prosecution examined Gharat to prove that the passport of Jundal was revoked in June 2006.

Jundal was arrested on June 21, 2012 by Delhi police from Indira Gandhi International Airport. A month after his arrest, Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) had, on July 25, 2012 written a letter to the passport office seeking details of his passport.

Gharat who was posted as assistant passport officer between 2012 and 2013 had replied to the Mumbai police with a letter stating that his passport was issued on December 24, 2003 and was valid till December 23, 2013. The letter further stated that Superintendent of Police, Beed (Jundal’s native district) had requested to revoke Jundal’s passport and accordingly it was revoked on June 8, 2006.

Being the author of the letter, the prosecution had examined Gharat and confronted him with the letter on Tuesday.

Gharat told the court that the letter was written by him and the passport was revoked after issuing notice to Jundal.

However, later, Gharat was cross examined by the defence lawyer Wahab Khan on the same letter.

Khan pointed out that the same letter mentioned that, “It is also revealed from the net check that applicant, Zabiuddin Sayed is issued travel document from Delhi dated June 9, 2012 (valid till August 8, 2012).”

Khan later confronted Gharat on what travel document was issued by Delhi passport office on Sayed’s name. To this Gharat replied that the Delhi office had issued passport in 2012 in the name of Zabiuddin Sayed.

The defence has now urged the court to direct the prosecution to produce the details of the passport and related documents before the court.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 10:24 IST