Nine Shiv Sainiks held for protest outside Kasab ex-lawyer’s house

March 31st, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) Nine activists of the Shiv Sena were arrested here Tuesday for intimidating Anjali Waghmare, the government lawyer appointed to defend Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab. Waghmare withdrew from the brief following the demonstration outside her home.
Apart from the nine held, Shiv Sena’s Mumbai South division head Ajay Chaudhary is “wanted” by the police, said an official at the Worli police station.

Chaudhary had led a mob of over 500 Sena activists to Waghmare’s Worli residence late Monday night and raised slogans demanding that she not take up Kasab’s case. Waghmare, the wife of a policeman, lives inside a well-guarded complex of flats and the demonstrators could not get in.

But following the vociferous protests that continued till the early hours of Tuesday, Waghmare gave a letter to Chaudhary, expressing regret for having consented to represent Kasab and promised not to take up the legal assignment.

Waghmare and K.P. Pawar - both empanelled on the Maharashtra Legal Aid Committee - were appointed as government lawyers by Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani Monday to defend Kasab in the Nov 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai. The judge has set April 6 as the date for the trial to start.

Chaudhary told IANS Tuesday morning that it was ironic that Waghmare, whose husband Ramesh Waghmare is a policeman, should offer to defend a terrorist whose acts resulted in the death of many police personnel.

“Three of them, including Tukaram Omble, lived in Worli Police Camp. Without Omble’s brave act, we would never have caught Kasab alive,” Chaudhary said.

When pointed out that their actions could have legal ramifications with the Special Court set up for the Mumbai terror attacks, Chaudhary said: “We are not concerned about that nor are we personally against anybody. We were expressing people’s strong sentiments at Anjali’s decision that has pained and angered them.”

Despite repeated attempts, Waghmare remained unavailable for comment Tuesday morning.

Waghmare had Monday said that she took up the assignment as she felt very “disturbed and concerned” at the delay in such an important trial.

“I was feeling very disturbed and concerned that such an important trial is held up for so long only because the accused has nobody to defend him. This is the sole reason I offered my services on behalf of the Legal Aid Committee,” the lawyer had told IANS.

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