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Salem allowed to meet brother

The meeting of the brothers took place in the CBI office

MUMBAI : Extradited underworld don and Mumbai blast accused Abu Salem met his brother Abu Lais on Saturday after TADA Judge P.D. Kode granted permission on an application moved by the latter.

The meeting of the two brothers took place in the CBI office at Nariman Point in South Mumbai for 15 minutes. The court, while granting permission, directed the CBI to verify the identity of Mr. Lais and allow him to meet Salem in the presence of CBI officers.

Salem, who was arrested after being brought to Mumbai on November 11 following his extradition from Portugal, is in the CBI custody till November 23.

In an interesting development, Advocate O.A. Siddique, lawyer for Salem, moved an application before the TADA court on Saturday seeking permission to withdraw himself from the case as he has been allegedly threatened by the CBI.

TADA Judge P.D. Kode, however, refused permission to Mr. Siddique to withdraw and directed the CBI to file its reply on November 22. The court also directed the advocate to wait till November 23 when Salem is scheduled to be produced on expiry of his CBI remand.

Moving the application, the defence counsel alleged that he was threatened by the CBI that they would get him removed from appearing in the case through the don (Salem) himself. Mr. Siddique further alleged that one of Salem's lawyers, Ashok Sarogi, was told by CBI that his client would dance to the tune of the agency and he would say whatever they wanted him to say. On November 11, when the he was produced before the court, Salem was asked whether he wanted a lawyer, to which the gangster said that he needed three to four days to decide. Mr. Siddique, who was present in the court, expressed his desire to appear on behalf of the don and said that he was instructed by a lawyer from Lucknow as well as by a foreign lawyer who had appeared for Salem in Portugal court. — UNI

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