The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lawyer slaps Red Fort cop

New Delhi, Nov. 11 (PTI): The counsel for an accused in the Red Fort shootout today slapped a police officer after he was warned off case exhibits.

Counsel R.M. Tuffail was offended when special cell sub-inspector Harinder Singh cautioned him against going close to the sealed evidence brought for the examination of additional sessions judge .P. Saini.

Tuffail slapped Singh, angry at the hint of an accusation in the warning “not to tamper with or break the seal of the documents”.

Soon after, he realised the mistake and tendered an unconditional apology.

“It was unintentional and unfortunate. I felt bad when the police personnel accused me of tampering with the case property and breaking the seal. But I exceeded my limits. I am really sorry,” Tuffail told the court.

While Singh was taken away for a medical examination, the court noted the incident in the order sheet.

The CBI, however, struck an uncompromising position over the action of Tuffail, the counsel for Mohammed Arif alias Ashfaq, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant from Pakistan. Long after the proceedings, the bureau appeared bent on lodging an FIR.

The warning may have been prompted by the broken seal on the exhibits, which included five computer monitors, four central processing units, printers and keyboards. These were allegedly seized in the course of investigation from a computer centre run by Ashfaq at Gafoor Nagar, near Okhla in south Delhi.

Two Lashkar militants had sneaked into the 17th century monument in Delhi around 9 pm on December 22, 2000, and opened fire on the guards of the 7th battalion of the Rajputana Rifles stationed there. Three died in the exchange.

Ashfaq was charged under the Indian Penal Code with waging war against India (Section 121A), criminal conspiracy (120B) murder (302), cheating (420), forgery (468) and using as genuine a forged document (471). He was also charged under Section 14 of Foreigners Act, Sections 4 and 5 of Explosives Act as also Arms Act.

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