He had appealed against his conviction in the Bombay High Court
NEW DELHI — Kamal Ahmad Ansari, a death row convict in Nagpur Central Jail, died of Covid in a hospital in Nagpur on Monday. He was one of the convicts in the case of 2006 Mumbai serial blasts that had killed 209 people and injured over 700 more.
The 44-year-old Ansari and four other convicts were awarded death sentences by a special court in September 2015. Seven others were given life imprisonment. The thirteenth accused was acquitted.
Ansari, who has consistently been denying his role in the serial blasts, had appealed against his conviction in the Bombay High Court. According to Mumbai-based Advocate Abdul Wahid Sheikh, Ansari’s mother had talked to her son on April 2. Apparently, he was alright. Then on April 9, she received a call from the jail authorities informing her that Ansari has been admitted to a hospital in serious condition. Two days later, he was put on a ventilator. Ansari’s mother, who was visiting a relative in Mumbai, reached the hospital in Nagpur on April 17. She was allowed to see her son only from a distance.
On Monday morning she received another call from the jail authorities informing her that Ansari died of coronavirus. She is waiting outside the hospital for his dead body.
Ansari, who hailed from Madhubani district of Bihar, had accused the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad of implicating him in “a fake terror case”.
The Innocence Network, a forum of individuals and organisations working for the rights of those who have been wrongfully prosecuted or convicted, especially under charges of terrorism, records on its portal Ansari’s statement which he had given to the Special Court of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The statement reads: “The fact I want to share with the court is that it was on 10th of July, 2006 that, I sent a religious-based SMS to my brother-in-law (sister’s husband) namely Mumtaz Chaudhri and, at the behest of my friend, Badi Badiuzzaman, I forwarded the same SMS to his brother, Qamruzzaman on the same day. But, who could imagine that it would cause the hell of my life as a Mumbai Train blast occurred on 11th of July, 2006. It was then that ATS allegedly picked up my brother-in-law, Mumtaz Ahmad Chaudhri and Qamruzzaman and compelled them to reply to the questions related to SMS. Mumtaz Chaudhri told ATS that the SMS was sent by his brother-in-law, Kamal Ahmad Ansar (myself) and also gave my address to the police.
“It was on 19/07/2006 at 10:30 pm that I was driven to Patna by ATS. They discovered not even the black powder (gunpowder) from my house. All that they got from me is my Mobile and driving license which I always kept with me. That night about 6-7 policemen allegedly arrested me from my house and took me to Patna by TATA SOMO. Khalid Azeez was picked up from Madhubani while I was led to Mumbai by a flight with a strip tied on my eyes.
“Then, I was taken to Chandan Chowki ATS where I was inflicted with 3rd degree torture. From there I was taken to Kala Chowki ATS and, there too, I was constantly beaten by them badly. At Kala Chowki, I was shown a few photos of some people. The ATS executives assigned to me some short fabricated stories and forced me to read and remember them by heart after which they were shot and recorded by a camera.”