Mamta Agarwal outside Bankshall court on Monday. (Bibhash Lodh)
Police on Monday claimed to have found new witnesses in the 9A Short Street shooting and sought a fresh test identification parade of main accused Mamta Agarwal and extension of her judicial custody.
Mamta and two of her guards, Shafique Ahmed alias Pappu and Pramod Shaw, have been in custody since the November 11 shooting in which two bouncers were killed and another was critically injured. The police have conducted a test identification or TI parade during the judicial custody of the accused from November 26 till Sunday.
The alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification in a TI parade. “The police have found new witnesses and we want Mamta and the others to undergo a TI in front of them. Based on the accounts of these witnesses, we want to interrogate Mamta and the others in judicial custody,” police lawyer Krishna Chandra Das said.
The acting chief metropolitan magistrate of Bankshall court sent the accused to 14 more days in judicial custody. The next hearing is on December 23.
Mamta, the principal of a kindergarten-cum-play school operating from 9A Short Street, and her guards were arrested for allegedly firing at a group that had trespassed on the property around 4am.
Mamta’s counsel Y.J. Dastoor pleaded for her bail. “She is suffering from asthma and anaemia. Her health is deteriorating inside the jail. The two guards have complained to the superintendent of Presidency jail that they are being tortured.”
Dastoor said Mamta had written to people in power, including the President and the city police commissioner, about the frequent attacks on her school but no action was taken till the shooting took place.
“My client did not open fire. The intruders had fired and the bouncers were killed in the crossfire,” Dastoor said.
The police lawyer cited CCTV footage that allegedly shows Mamta shooting at the bouncers from a close range.
Mamta’s brother Umang, her long-time friend Melissa Ward, and parents of some of the school’s students appeared at the court on Friday wearing T-shirts with “Free Mamta Ma’am” emblazoned on them.
Land broker Parag Majmudar, arrested for planning the trespass, was also remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.