Citizens for Justice and Peace


08, May 2017

‘Best Bakery
witness is not reliable’

By: Prasad Patil
October 29, 2004

Defence counsel yesterday tried to establish that Tufel Shaikh, who had
identified seven accused in the Best Bakery case on Wednesday, was not

The day-long cross-examination was aimed at proving that many revelations
made by Tufel on Monday were not disclosed to the police on March 4, 2002.

TufelÂ’s cross-examination will continue today. An inspector of Panigate
police station, Vadodara, had recorded TufelÂ’s statement on March 4, 2002.

In his evidence on Wednesday, Tufel had said that on March
1, 2002, he was sitting outside the Best Bakery in the night, along with
Sahejad, Rais, Baliram, Ramesh, Kausar Ali and Prakash, when a mob
attacked the bakery.

Replying to defence counsel Adhik Shirodkar, Tufel said that he had stated
the same thing before the police, but did not know why the police did not
record it.

Tufel has testified that a mob comprising 400 to 500
people, attacked the bakery.
In the statement
given to the police, he has said that there were about 1,000 to 1,200
people. Tufel admitted that he might have given the figure of 1,000 to
1,200 to the police.

The statement recorded by the police did not corroborate
TufelÂ’s testimony that the people in the mob were carrying mashals and

Tufel claimed that he had made the same statement before the police, which
they have not recorded.

Tufel testified that when the mob attacked, all the
employees of the bakery rushed inside, but the mob caught Kausar Ali and
Lulla and they were assaulted with swords.
He again claimed
that the police did not record his statement, though he had stated the
same to them.

Tufel has named the persons who were hiding on the terrace
after the attack.

This was not found in the statement recorded by the police and Tufel said
he did not know why.

Tufel testified that the bakery was not closed despite
communal riots.
In the statement
recorded by the police, Tufel has said that the bakery was closed from
March 1, 2002, because of the communal riots in Vadodara. Tufel admitted
that he had told the police that the bakery was closed in the evening of
March 1, 2002.

According to TufelÂ’s evidence given in the court, the
rioters asked the bakery workers assembled on the terrace to come down,
while assuring them that they would not be harmed. The mob then propped up
a ladder and helped the workers to climb down and the moment they did, the
mob tied their hands and legs and beat them up.

According to TufelÂ’s statement recorded by the police, the victims told
the mob that they would leave Vadodara and only then did they come down.
But the mob caught and assaulted them. Tufel explained in the
cross-examination that the mob coerced the bakery workers to come down.

‘I heard of Zaheera in a

Tufel had been working at the Best Bakery for about a year before the
attack. Advocate Shirodkar also quizzed him about the family members of
Habibulla Shaikh, Zahira ShaikhÂ’s father and the owner of the bakery.

Did you know the names of family members of the Best
BakeryÂ’s owner, Habibulla Shaikh?

I knew the names of HabibullaÂ’s sons. I knew the name of only one

What were the names of the sons?
Guddu alias Nafidulla and Raju. I do not know RajuÂ’s real name.

What were the names of the daughters?
I only knew SaberaÂ’s name.

Till today, you know only SaberaÂ’s name?
No. I also know ZaheeraÂ’s name.

When did you come to know ZaheeraÂ’s name?
I came to know her name two to three months after the attack on
the bakery.

How did you come to know ZaheeraÂ’s name?
I read it in a newspaper.

In your statement recorded by the police three days after the
attack on the bakery, did you tell the police that ‘Zaheeraben has lodged
a complaint with the policeÂ’?

No. I did not.

If it is recorded as your statement, is it correct?
It is not correct.

Did you not know ZaheeraÂ’s name before the attack on the bakery?
I knew her name before the attack.

Did you know Saira?
I know that HabibullaÂ’s eldest daughterÂ’s name was Saira.



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