Making serious allegations against Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ashish Khetan, a senior journalist working with various media houses has said that many Muslim youths have been falsely implicated by these agencies in several blast cases.
He also alleged that three IPS officers, including two former city police commissioners, A.N. Roy and K.P. Raghuvanshi, had tortured many youth and forced them into confessing to crimes by threatening their parents and family members.
Screening a video at the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) on Wednesday, in which he claimed that in at least three cases of terror, the July 11, 2006 Mumbai local train blasts, the 2006 Malegaon blasts and the Pune Best Bakery case of February 2010, the Maharashtra ATS had deliberately created bogus evidence, extracted false confessions by the most inhuman torture, planted explosives in the houses, to implicate innocent Muslim youth.
The video documentary reveals that torture, which included water-boarding, narcotic injections and illegal detention, was used as means of extracting false confessions and forcing innocents to turn approvers.
In the video, one Dr Tariq Ansari from Kurla, who was detained in the 7/11 blast case, is shown saying, “They picked me up from my Kurla residence and took me to Nagpada office of the ATS. There, A N Roy started beating me with his shoes and later offered me Rs.25 lakh to confess. Later, some ATS officers asked me to confess if I wanted to see my family members including my brothers alive.”
Another victim, who is an IT professional, is seen in the video saying, “We were taken to Bangalore Forensic Laboratory were one Mrs. Malini, who was the Director of the laboratory started torturing us physically and asked me to confess because she was under pressure from ATS, and if I did not do so then she would kill me with some medicine.”
It was the then ATS chief, Hemant Karkare, who changed the view towards Muslim youth and proved that Hindus could also be involved in blasts, after arresting many persons who belonged to Hindu outfits, added Khetan.
We have already forwarded letters to the National Human Rights Commission and Minority Commission to look into the matter and are soon going to file a petition in this regard. “My intention is not to pass a verdict of guilt against certain accused. But it is only to highlight the blatant discrepancies and contradictions in terror investigations,” claimed Khetan.