Azmi wants NIA to probe blast case

The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday demanded an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the German Bakery blast case in light of the recent sting operation by former journalist Ashish Khetan, which has claimed coercion of the prosecution witnesses.
Talking to reporters, party state president Abu Asim Azmi expressed his doubts over the investigation done by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in view of the revelations of the sting operation. Mr Azmi gave the Malegaon blast case of 2006 as an example. The NIA had found that the nine accused arrested by the ATS were possibly innocent.
Mr Khetan’s sting operation showed that prosecution witnesses were tortured and coerced to depose against accused Himayat Baig during the trial. Based on their deposition, Baig was given a death sentence by the session court. Mr Khetan has also approached a bench of the Bombay high court for a reinvestigation in the case.
“The video footage of the sting operation has raised apprehension about the manner in which the investigation was carried out. One could see prosecution witnesses in the video footages admitting that they gave false testimonies in court as ATS officers compelled them to do so,” Mr Azmi said.
“We have also seen the kind of probe done by the ATS in the Malegaon blast case of 2006 and thus, it is better to reinvestigate the case to ensure that no innocent person was falsely implicated,” he added.

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