CBI opposes Salem associate's bail plea

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Mumbai, Jun 17 (UNI) The CBI today strongly opposed the bail plea of extradited gangster Abu Salem's associate, Riyaz Siddiqui, for his involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case.

While arguing on behalf of CBI, chief public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the trial against the accused has already begun with the witnesses in the case having deposed before the court. The accused's release on bail would influence the witnesses.

He said if the accused was given bail, he might tamper with the evidence against him.

The court was also told that as far his health is concerned, the government hospital is capable of taking care of him and he has been taken to the government run-J J Hospital periodically for treatment.

Earlier, while moving the plea, Advocate Farhana Shah, representing Siddiqui, submitted that her client had been languishing in jail for a prolonged period and was also suffering from various ailments, which require treatment in the hospital which is not available in the jail hospital.

Meanwhile, in a related development, prosecution witness number six during his cross-examination by Salem's advocate Sudeep Pasbola today said before Salem was arrested, he had not told anybody that he had gone to Bharuch in Gujarat with Salem, from where the don brought an arms consigment to Mumbai.

According to the prosecution, Salem had brought the consignment of arms from Gujarat which was distributed by him in Mumbai before the 1993 serial bomb blasts and the same was also supplied to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was later convicted by the TADA court but was later granted bail by the Supreme Court.

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