Citizens for Justice and Peace


08, May 2017

‘They said I,
too, would be abductedÂ’

– By Anand Birai

Udepur (Baroda), Nov. 17
: It is now the
turn of Shehnaz Sheikh, sister of Best Bakery massacre witness Yasmin Bano,
to pack her luggage and shift to a secure location owing to threatening
calls following Yasmin BanoÂ’s deposition before the special court in
Mumbai on Tuesday.

Shehnaz Sheikh, 27, was
busy winding up her belongings — utensils and clothes — from her home at
Chhota Udepur, Baroda, on Wednesday. Her younger sister Yasmin Bano, the
estranged wife of Zaheera SheikhÂ’s brother Nafitullah, while deposing
before the Mumbai court on Tuesday, had identified 11 accused in the case.
Yasmin Bano was staying at the Best Bakery building until last month
before shifting to Mumbai.

However, when Yasmin Bano
left Baroda, Shehnaz Sheikh, staying in Chhota Udepur, started getting
threatening calls, allegedly from some residents of the Hanuman Tekari
area in Baroda where the Best Bakery is located. “I started getting
threatening calls after Yasmin left for Mumbai. Groups of two or four
persons used to come by on motorcycles inquiring about the whereabouts of
Yasmin. They used to come at least four to five times a day. Woh kehte the
agar maine nahi bataya to mujhe bhi uthwa lenge (They said if I did not
cooperate with them, I, too, would be kidnapped),” Shehnaz Sheikh told The
Asian Age.

She added, “Most of the
time I used to be alone at home. They would peep into the house and pass
abusive comments. On my way to bazaar they would stop me and say, ‘Tujhe
kahin ki nahi chhodenge (We will render you helpless).Â’”

Yasmin Bano, after
deposing before the court on Tuesday, had urged the judge, Mr Abhay
Thipsay, to provide security to her sister, Shehnaz Sheikh. On directions
of the court, five policemen including two sleuths of the State Reserve
Police Force were deployed at her residence late on Tuesday night.

Deputy superintendent of
police U.D. Parmar took her statement on Wednesday morning at her
residence. “Those people have not been seen after deployment of the
security personnel,” Shehnaz Sheikh said.

Her maternal uncle Salim
Sheikh has been staying with her after Yasmin Bano and her mother left
Baroda. Shehnaz Sheikh had married in 1997 but got separated after 3 years
of married life following a dispute over dowry. “I am good at sewing and
earn sufficient money to survive. I am proud of my sister Yasmin, who,
unlike Zaheera, is not hiding the truth. We are not greedy like Zaheera
and her family who keeps on retracting statements for the sake of money.”




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