Abu Jundal retracts confession before a Mumbai Court

Mumbai: LeT operative Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and several other cases, today orally retracted his confession, claiming before a MCOCA court here that he has been falsely implicated and his signature obtained under duress.

Jundal told the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) judge M S Modak, hearing the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, that his signature was "forcibly" taken on the confessional statement and he he had not given it voluntarily.

Appearing through a video conference from Delhi's Tihar jail, Jundal also told the court that his name was Zabiuddin Ansari and not Abu Jundal. The alias Abu Jundal mentioned in the confessional statement was incorrect.

The court, however, told him to first appoint a lawyer and instruct him accordingly so that his statement can be taken on record at the next hearing.

Following this, Advocate Ejaz Naqvi appeared on behalf of Jundal and filed a 'vakalatnama' and the hearing was adjourned till December 15.

Earlier in the day, the state unit of Jamiat-e-Ulama, a prominent Muslim NGO, which has given free legal aid to over 300 Muslim youths facing terrorism charges in 34 different cases across the country, refused to offer help to Jundal in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.

21 other accused in the case are already being given legal assistance by the organisation.

Gulzar Azmi, legal secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulama's state unit, said the decision was communicated to Jundal by its lawyers Ansar Tamboli and Shahid Nadeem Ansari when the accused was produced today before the MCOCA Court.

Jundal is alleged to be one of the handlers of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who had unleashed an orgy of violence on 26 November 2008.

Jundal, who taught Hindi to the perpetrators, was present in the LeT "control room" in Karachi from where he gave directions to the terrorists.