Citizens for Justice and Peace


08, May 2017

Aunt claims Zahira had offered cash

– By Our Correspondent

Mumbai, Dec. 1:

Shahjehan, wife of Best Bakery worker
Quasar Ali, told the special court on Wednesday that Zahira Sheikh and her
mother Sairunisa had offered her money to turn hostile before the fast
track court in Baroda.

Quasar Ali, ZahiraÂ’s maternal uncle, was declared
“missing” by the Baroda police after the riots. Breaking down before the
court, she made this statement but it was not taken on record on the
prosecutionÂ’s request.

Shahjehan alleged that Zahira and her mother had told
her some 6-7 months after the riots that they would soon reach a
compromise and would receive money for it. She added that she had been
offered 50 per cent of the total amount the duo received. She, however,
did not mention all the people who were involved in the deal.

Shahjehan said she came to court as Nafitullah,
ZahiraÂ’s brother and an eyewitness, had claimed that he did not know what
had happened to her husband in his deposition before the court. Shahjehan
also said that Zahira had called her to say that the bakery had been set
ablaze and her husband was thrown into the furnace by a violent mob.
During cross-examination, however, defence lawyer D.S. Jembaulikar pointed
out to her that the police had recorded her statement in which she had
said that her husband was missing.

She, however, stuck to her version and said she did not
know why the police had stated her husband “missing” in her statement.
Meanwhile, in another setback to the prosecution in the trial, Saira
Sheikh, elder sister of Zahira Sheikh and an eyewitness, feigned ignorance
about the identity of the bakery workers. Deposing before the court, she
denied any knowledge about Quasar Ali, her maternal uncle, who worked at
the bakery. She also said that she did not know how many workers were
employed at the bakery. To a question from special prosecutor Manjula Rao,
Saira accepted that she knew Quasar Ali and said he was her “mama”
(uncle), but she added that her father and Quasar Ali were not on good
terms. Saira had turned hostile during the trial in the fast track court
at Baroda. Her examination would continue on Thursday. 



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