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‘Unstoppable’ at rapid-fire

Mumbai, Dec. 30: Abu Salem has shed light on his criminal past and answered a rapid-fire 65 questions, but Mumbai police are unsure how much of his revelations are true and useful, police sources said.

The don was “unstoppable” as he replied to a volley of questions put to him during a narco-analysis test today at the forensic science laboratory in Bangalore. He underwent lie-detection and brain-mapping tests earlier.

Salem’s questionnaire contained two related to the murder of music baron Gulshan Kumar in August 1995 and one on the 1993 Bombay blasts. The rest were about the Pradeep Jain murder case, hawala transactions, the don’s bank accounts in the UK and the US and his relationship with starlet Monica Bedi.

The don is believed to have also given information about three of his associates who had not figured in the police investigations so far.

Personnel of the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) and Salem’s lawyer Ashok Sarogi were present when the tests were conducted.

“I watched Salem reply to the questions from across the glass door at the lab. He had to reply to all the questions in either a “yes” or a “no”. Only doctors were allowed inside for the narco-analysis tests conducted at a Bangalore hospital,” Sarogi said.

The ATS team was scheduled to escort Salem back to Mumbai later in the day.

Salem, believed to possess assets worth Rs 3,000 crore, has “given all the information that police wanted”, the sources said.

But K.P. Raghuvanshi, the joint commissioner and chief of the ATS, was guarded.

“Our team has gone to Bangalore. I would not like to speculate on the investigation. We will know what and how much Salem has revealed when we get the reports. We expect them by tomorrow,” he said.

The reports of the tests will be presented before the designated Tada court on Tuesday when Salem will be produced for further remand.

“These tests are not legally admissible as evidence. They can perhaps be helpful to the police from the investigation point of view,” Sarogi said.

Last week, Mumbai police had told Tada court judge P.V. Bavkar that Salem had revealed some “sensitive information” regarding his hawala network and his assets and sought the court’s permission to conduct the three tests and verify the information.

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