Prashant Dayal (Deewal Part-58): The Ahmedabad Crime Branch had very few witnesses in the Ahmedabad serial blasts case, who had met these accused at least once before the blats and could identify them. One such was Firoz chacha, who had given out his Yakubnagar house on rent to these accused to live before the blasts. When he was summoned by the crime branch for a witness statement, he told them, “Sir, I know not much time left in my life. And if I identify the accused by being your witness, my community will disown me call me a traitor. I had lost everything I had in the 2002 communal violence, and now I have nothing to lose. At first, I used to be very angry and used to feel like I should shoot dead those people who took away my son from me, but I feared the god. The ones who did these blasts would never get forgiveness from Allah. I am ashamed to call such men Muslims who have killed scores of innocent people. Sir, I used to think of Naseeruddin as a God-sent man, but he turned out to be the devil, you must not spare him. They who took away lives of innocent people don’t deserve any mercy. I will come to court and give my witness. Sir, you must ensure that these terrorists get hanged.” As chacha spoke these words, his expressions changed from despair to anger, then to disgust. Jadeja was surprised seeing this side of Firoz. He noted down Firoz’s statement officially. There were a few other similar witnesses, who had identified Mohammed-Yunus, Danish-Yunus, and Abu-Riyaz during the identification parade. It was necessary to have witnessed along with circumstantial evidence to make the case strong.

Parvez and Yusuf finally declined to become witnesses in this case. Jadeja informed this to DCP Sinha, who became furious upon hearing this. He called them into his cabin, where he picked up a stick lying nearby and began to whack both of them. “You are taking advantage of our good behavior with you! We spoke to you with respect, we took care of you and this is what you give us in return!” shouted Sinha. Parvez and Yusuf began to cry as-as they were being whacked. They pleaded with folded hands to keep them away from this case on record as they have provided all the information they knew about this case. But Sinha was adamant to have them as witnesses in this case. At one point even Jadeja felt that there won’t be much harm if they had two fewer witnesses, but Sinha believed that the two most important links to this case were the sim cards and the bicycles used by the terrorists in the blasts. According to Sinha, if Parvez and Yusuf become their witnesses, there will become very strong, or else the defense lawyer will exploit these missing links and get these terrorists released. Though Sinha had explained the important aspects of the case, he could explain the importance of these two links connected with Parvez and Yusuf.

Sinha still believed there is hope and thought Parvez ’s mother and Yusuf’s father are brought in to convince them to become a witness, things might work in their favor. But surprisingly, even their parents pleaded the same thing as their children. They pleaded folded hands to Jadeja on not to make their sons witnesses this case as they feared their community will not let them live peacefully after this. Sinha was equally surprised because when these terrorists were scouting for local boys from the city to do their job, no one had come forward, but after the blasts, many Muslims believe that the intent behind it to take revenge for the 2002 communal violence was valid. Sinha was furious with the way things have taken a turn. Sinha’s mind was holding him back from doing something that was in his head for some time, which he might regret later. He told Yusuf and Parvez that he is giving them a last chance to do the right thing, or else he will have to take a step that might harm them to great extent. Yusuf again folded hands and requested, “Sir, try to understand our problem. We’re Muslims, had we been Hindus, we’d have immediately agreed to become witnesses in the case. But we live in Muslim dominated area, and we cannot go against our community.” Sinha looked at them for a few minutes and stood up. He ordered, “Jadeja, make Yusuf and Parvez accused in this blast case. Get their arrest warrants today itself.” A shocked Jadeja didn’t move from his place. He had thought that Sinha would use this only as means to scare the two into becoming their witnesses, but never actually that he would literally do it. Sinha again ordered, this time in a sterner tone, “Didn’t you hear what I said? Get their arrest warrants today, present them to the court this evening and get their remand order."

Yusuf and Parvez broke down on hearing this. They pleaded with Jadeja to say something to the DCP, they cried that they don’t have any connections to the blast and this will destroy their future and lives. Sinha couldn’t stand the wailing so he went towards the window and began looking outside, at the tall bamboo plantations growing outside his office. Parvez and Yusuf continued with their wailing, and Sinha couldn’t take it anymore. “Jadeja take them away and start your work” ordered the DCP. As Jadeja led them away, they continued to cry and request mercy from the DCP. The voice became fainter as they were taken out of the room and after a few moments, there was silence. For the first time, the peace in his cabin made Sinha feel uncomfortable. He wanted to leave his cabin and go somewhere else. But he sat down on his chair and pulled out a cigarette from his drawer, but he didn’t light it as he was lost in deep thoughts. It was not the first time Sinha took an immoral decision in his career. Previously, he had followed his boss’ orders, however wrong they were, as a part of his duty. But today, he took a decision to satisfy his ego, and this was hurting him from the inside.