Terror accused alleges his flight from court was staged by ATS

Alleged Indian Mujahideen member Afzal Usmani, who gave police the slip from court premises in September and was recaptured subsequently, has claimed in a letter to the court that he had not fled, but had been taken away by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad officials.

PTI| Updated: Dec 12, 2013, 20:43 PM IST

Mumbai: Alleged Indian Mujahideen member Afzal Usmani, who gave police the slip from court premises in September and was recaptured subsequently, has claimed in a letter to the court that he had not fled, but had been taken away by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad officials.

Usmani submitted this letter to the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court here on December 10, when the charges were framed against him and other 22 men in connection with emails purportedly sent by IM taking responsibility for blasts in Delhi and Hyderabad in 2008.

Usmani fled from the sessions court here on September 20 and was arrested by ATS on October 28 from near Indo-Nepal border.

But he has presented a different version in the letter submitted to the special MCOCA judge A L Pansare. According to him, on September 20, as he was talking to his nephew in the court premises, two ATS officers took them out of the premises.

"They disclosed their identity and told the escort policemen around us to tell the court that Usmani had fled," says the letter, accessed by PTI.

They were taken to a farmhouse in Kasara (in neighbouring Thane district), it says, adding that "after leaving me there they took my nephew somewhere else".

He further claims that ATS officials visited him thereafter a few times at the farmhouse, and asked him to become an approver in the case. Usmani also alleges that special public prosecutor Raja Thakare also visited him, and asked him to become approver.