Maria, state govt framed Baig in Pune bakery blast case: Lawyer

Feb 24, 2014, 03:03 IST | Salil Urunkar

Mehmood Pracha, lawyer of German Bakery blast accused Himayat Baig, to file a petition for an FIR against the former ATS chief who is now Mumbai's top cop

The German Bakery blast convict Himayat Baig's lawyer Mehmood Pracha on Sunday alleged that former state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria, who is now the Mumbai police commissioner, and top functionaries of the state government are involved in a conspiracy to falsely incriminate Baig in the blast case.

"Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Home Minister RR Patil are involved in a conspiracy to frame Himayat Baig falsely in the German Bakery blast case," said Pracha, who was in the city to address a conference on the subject 'Framing of Innocent Muslims and the Way Forward'.

He also said that he would file a petition in a Delhi court against the Maharashtra ATS, appealing that it order a first information report (FIR) against Maria and other squad officers. Pracha is representing Baig in the Bombay High Court. He is also defending an accused in the JM Road serial blasts in a special court in Mumbai.

"The chargesheets filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the special cell of Delhi police and the Bangalore police do not mention any connection between the bakery blast accused Yasin Bhatkal and Baig, but the Maharashtra ATS chargesheet claims so. Out of these, only one version can be true," Pracha said.

About his course of action, he said, "The NIA has given Baig a clean chit and we will apply for bail in the high court. We have enough evidence to show that Baig has nothing to do with the conspiracy." The role of every police officer involved in the investigations should be probed and they should be charged under Chapter 11 of the Indian Penal Code dealing with false evidence."

He added, "We will soon file a petition in the Delhi court as the NIA has filed its chargesheet there. We feel there should be an FIR against the officers of the Maharashtra ATS," Pracha said, adding, "We should also question the way Maria was posted as Mumbai police commissioner."

Have proof: ATS
An officer from the state ATS said on the condition of anonymity, "We have enough evidence against Baig. Based on this, the sessions court in Pune has convicted and sentenced him. Now, since Baig has challenged the lower court's judgment in the Bombay High Court, it is for the court to decide. Main accused Yasin Bhatkal's confession in a Delhi-related case can't be applied to the German Bakery blast case in Pune."

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