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TADA court orders probe into Abu Salem’s ‘train wedding’

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Mumbai –  An anti-terror court in Maharashtra has ordered an investigation into reports that alleged gangster Abu Salem, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, married on a train while being taken by the police to Uttar Pradesh for a court hearing.

Abu Salem, who has been in an Indian jail for nearly 12 years since being extradited from Portugal, was reported to have married a woman from Thane, on the train to Lucknow, with a Kazi or cleric presiding over the “nikah” ceremony on the telephone. The wedding, purported to have taken place on January 8, is being seen as a security breach.

Abu Salem’s nephew, Rashid Ansari, an advocate, and some policemen were witness to the marriage, the report said. The woman was said to have met the alleged don on the sidelines of court hearings.

“The designated TADA court has directed the Thane Police Commissioner to conduct an inquiry as to how an accused, who is in judicial custody, can marry on a train without the permission of the court,” prosecutor Deepak Salvi told PTI.

The TADA court looks into cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, an anti-terror law that was allowed to lapse in 1995.

Special Judge G A Sanap has asked the Thane police chief for a report in 10 days.

The alleged groom has denied the wedding. Speaking to reporters outside a court, he said the report was “baseless” and a “rumour”.

Abu Salem, 46, was extradited from Portugal on November 11, 2005, after a prolonged legal battle. He was brought to India along with then partner Monica Bedi, who denied being married to the gangster.

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