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Ahmedabad police deny `coercing' Ishrat's mother

By Our Special Correspondent

AHMEDABAD, JUNE 19. The Ahmedabad crime branch police have denied that they have coerced or pressured Shamima Raza to "extract'' a confession about her daughter Ishrat's alleged involvement with terrorists.

Refuting Ms. Raza's statement after she returned with Ishrat's body to their home at Mumbara in Maharashtra's Thane district that she was "pressured'' by Ahmedabad police to make certain statements, the Additional Police Commissioner, Crime Branch, D.G. Vanjhara, said no pressure tactics was involved during the questioning nor was any condition laid down to release the body only if Shamima confessed about her daughter's involvement with terrorists.

Claiming that the police had come across "incriminating evidences," Mr. Vanjhara said it was also clear from her mother's statement to the police that she was "hobnobbing" with some of the terrorists in the past.

Rath yatra peaceful

The 127th "rath yatra'' taken out of the Jagannath temple in the minority-dominated Jamalpur locality in Ahmedabad under heightened security in view of Tuesday's police shootout passed off peacefully.

The security for the yatra which had sparked disturbances in the past was increased since the communal riots in 2002. It was further tightened this year in view of Tuesday's shootout with more than 15,000 policemen put on duty to ensure the safe passage of the yatra through the 14-km long traditional route through some minority-dominated areas in the city.

The yatra presented a picture of communal harmony with many Muslim leaders, along with other prominent citizens, receiving the yatra at various locations on the way. A Muslim delegation greeted the "Mahant'' of the Jagannath temple who led the yatra.

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