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Published in the 1-15 July 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Ghatkopar blast accused acquitted

The Milli Gazette Online

Mumbai: All eight of the accused in Khatkopar bomb blast case were acquitted by a designated POTA court in Mumbai on June 11 because the court found that the prosecution had built its case on confessions. All of the 11 witnesses in the case had turned hostile including the conductor of the bus, Dattatreya Shekar. Following the conductor’s hostility, the prosecution had to rely on circumstantial evidence as admitted by chief prosecutor lawyer Rohini Salian. 

One hundred forty people were examined by the POTA court. They were framed under sections 120(b), 153(A) of the IPC and Sections 3 (1)(a), 3(2) and 3(3) of POTA for conspiracy, threatening the security of the country and helping terrorists outfits Lashkar-e-Taiyaba, Al Qaida, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Students Islamic Movement of India. 

The Ghatkopar case related to the first of the series of the bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai in 2002. The blast occurred on December 2 , 2002 inside a Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus which was on its way from Amrutnagar to Ghatkopar suburban railway station in north-east Mumbai, killing two persons Jagdish Duhan and Rajiv Ranjan Singh and injuring 49 others. This was the first case in which POTA was applied in Maharashtra.

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