Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Teesta constantly asked the family to give false evidence

Zaheera's mother turns hostile

Supriya Sharma
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 (Mumbai):

Source : NDTV

Key witness in Best Bakery retrial, Zaheera Sheikh's mother Sehrunissa retracted her statement today.Sehrunissa turned hostile and denied she saw anyone the night the bakery was attacked. Instead, she accused activist Teesta Seetalvad of threatening her entire family.Sahrunissa told the court that two men Mohammed Vora and Munna Malik took Zaheera away from Baroda and brought her to Teesta's house in Mumbai.From there, Zaheera was sent to an apartment in the suburb of Andheri where she was kept confined for more than seven months. The family was not allowed to see her and were told that Zaheera had gone to Delhi or Pakistan.

False evidence

Sahrunissa claimed Teesta constantly asked the family to give false evidence. Her associate Raees Khan, in fact, bundled Zaheera's brother Nasibullah away in a car threatening to kill him if the family did not toe the line.Much like the other Sheikh family members who have appeared in the court, Sahrunissa came in for sharp criticism as the judge reprimanded her. She was asked to give straight answers and not pass unnecessary comments.When quizzed by the prosecution over her daughter Sabeera's death, one of the 14 people killed in the Best Bakery attack, Sahrunissa remarked, "So what if my daughter died, others too were killed in the riots.""I have no regrets. In fact, it's good that she died or else I would have to bear her marriage expenses," she told the prosecution."She has no feelings for her daughter who died. There is something behind all this. This is what we want to probe," said Manjula Rao, public prosecutor.Sehrunissa will now be cross-examined over her police statement recorded just days after the Best Bakery incident. Interestingly, Sehrunissa claimed in court today that she never made any statement to the police at all.

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