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Never visited Govandi in my life: 2006 Mumbai train blast accused

Tuesday April 30, 2013 11:34:07 PM, Special Correspondent

Mumbai: Deposing before the Special Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) Court as witness, one of the accused in the July 2006 Mumbai train blast on Tuesday said that he never visited Govandi in his life - a claim contradictory to the charges framed against him by the police.


"Since my arrival in Mumbai for the first time in 1996, I have never visited the Govandi area of the city", Ehtesham Siddiqui, one of the accused arrested in the 2006 Mumbai train blast case, said in reply to a question.


Ehtesham Siddiqui has been accused of manufacturing pressure cooker bombs with other accused at the Govandi residence of Mohammad Ali, another accused charge-sheeted in the case.


Denying the charges against him, he said that he came to Mumbai in 1996 from Jaunpur and stayed in Meera Road. He later took admission in an engineering college in Pen. "On September 27, 2001 while I was still in the third year of my Chemical Engineering course, Kurla police arrested me. I was released on bail after remaining in police custody for about fifteen days", he said.


He said that he was asked to report to the police station two times in a day. "It forced me to discontinue my education in the middle", he said.


He also said he was called by other police stations for interrogations. "I was called to different police stations especially when there were blasts in any part", he said.


He also said that at the time of the blasts on July 11, 2006 he was in Meera Road. "I was offering Maghrib prayers in a Meera Road mosque on the fateful day, and was informed about the blasts when I came out of the mosque", he said.


The police claimed that Siddiqui was at Churchgate railway station on July 11 and had played a key role in planting the bombs, according to the details provided by the defence lawyers.


He said he talked to his mother on mobile phone after the blast, who advised him to take care.


Ehtesham Siddiqui was deposing before the Special MCOCA court after telecom companies submitted the call records of the accused in the court.


The accused after submission of the call records had petitioned before the court to depose as witnesses.


On July 11, 2006 -- RDX laden bombs ripped the first class compartments of seven local trains in the Western Railways during peak evening hours. The blasts took place within the span of 11 minutes between 6.24 PM to 6.35 PM.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) probing the case had arrested 13 alleged members of SIMI and LeT for carrying out the blasts. The agency had charged them under various sections of Indian Penal Code, MCOCA and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.







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