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I was tutored to testify against Sarabjeet: Witness

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 05, 2005 01:58 IST
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A key witness in the 1990 Lahore bomb blast case, in which Sarabjit Singh has been sentenced to death, on Sunday said he was tutored to give evidence against the Indian national leading to his conviction.

"I was told by the (prosecution) lawyer that I should identify Sarabjit as the main accused in the serial blasts and I did it," said Salim Shaukat, cited as the main witness in the Lahore bombing in which his father was killed.

He admitted that he had not seen the accused as he had fainted during the blast.

Acknowledging that he was forced to give such a testimony, he told Indian TV channels, Star News and Aaj Tak, from Lahore that "I am not sure if he is responsible for the blasts.... I was asked to say that I had seen him. But I had not seen him as I had fainted at the time of the incident."

"The moment I identified him as the accused, Sarabjit asked me to swear by the Quran but I declined to do so. Sarabjit kept looking at me after my statement but I was helpless as I was under the influence of law enforcement agencies," Salim said in reply to questions.

"You know police can make you say anything," he said.

Reacting to the interview on television channels, Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur praised Salim for speaking out the truth while remaining in Pakistan.

"Obviously, this will help us in our appeal for review of the (Pakistan) Supreme Court's verdict," Kaur told the TV channels from Amritsar.

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