Production warrant for Ansari issued

Issued

An MCOCA court hearing the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case issued a production warrant Tuesday for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal. It asked the alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative to remain present in court on February 5, when charges are likely to be framed against him.

This after Jundal filed a handwritten application through his lawyer Ejaz Naqvi demanding that proceedings be held in his physical presence.

Till now, he has participated in court proceedings through video-conferencing. In his application, Jundal also demanded the proceedings be "video-recorded in the interest of justice".

He also claimed physical and mental harassment by Maharashtra ATS.

"The applicant's civil and constitutional liberty has been suppressed and statutory provisions violated in all aspects, so that he may be framed," Jundal's application says. He also claims denial of proper interactions with his lawyer and lack of understanding of the charges framed against him.

In December last year, Jundal, who is lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail, had claimed he was forced to sign confessional statements and that he was falsely implicated. This was after he allegedly confessed before a magistrate in Mumbai in August.

Jundal's involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, February 2010 German Bakery blasts in Pune and the Ahmedabad Railway Station blast of February 2006 is also being probed.

Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria said, "He is one of the main conspirators in the Aurangabad arms haul case. Once charges are framed, it will pave the way for the trial to start."

On allegations of torture by ATS, he said, "It is a standard operational procedure of such accused. These are completely false and baseless claims, we have followed the legal procedure in the case."

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