CBI opposes woman’s plea to marry Abu Salem

Mumbai: CBI on Saturday filed an application in a special TADA court objecting to a 26-year-old woman’s plea seeking permission to marry gangster Abu Salem, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

“We have filed an application objecting to the permission of the woman as her plea is not maintainable,” a CBI official said.

In June this year, the woman from Mumbra in neighbouring Thane district, had moved the court seeking permission to marry Salem.

She said police had made inquiries about her after a city-based tabloid published a report of Salem having married her. She said the police probe sullied her character and she could not marry anybody else so she had decided to marry him.

CBI told the court that the possibility that Salem would have threatened the woman and made her file the application cannot be ruled out.

“Earlier, there have been attempts on Salem’s life, hence he cannot be taken to public places like office of Registrar of Marriages,” the agency said.

It also said that the 1993 blasts case is at a stage when the accused’s statement would be recorded and allowing such an application may consume time (of the court).

CBI also said that after the news was published, they had made an inquiry but there was no evidence that Salem got married to the woman. However, Salem had earlier consented to the marriage saying that he intends to ‘compensate’ the woman by accepting her proposal and giving his name officially as she is defamed and hurt.

In September last year, CBI had told the special TADA court that the photograph of Salem and the woman, said to be his wife, appeared to be morphed.

Earlier, the designated TADA judge had directed the Thane police to conduct an inquiry after the tabloid reported that Salem married her ‘over the phone’ during a train journey in January when he was being taken by police to Lucknow for a court hearing. The court had taken a suo-motu (on its own) notice of the report.

The report said the ‘nikah’ was performed by a kazi in Mumbai over phone and Salem’s nephew advocate Rashid Ansari and some policemen were ‘witnesses’ to the marriage.

Salem, speaking to reporters on the court premises, had dismissed the report calling it a “rumour”.