Nine months after 26/11 attack, a master mariner on Thursday revealed how the Pakistani terrorists reached their target destinations — Café Leopold, Hotel Taj Mahal, and probably Nariman House —without getting lost in the lanes of Colaba.
They were carrying satellite-guided Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that were loaded with precise route map of those places in south Mumabi to reach the target sites from Badhwar Park, where they landed on November 26, 2008.
The master mariner, Professor Sandip Shivani from Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research, who testified before the special court on Thursday, revealed six waypoints found on one of the GPS recovered from the slain attackers contained a six-point route map to reach Café Leopold from Badhwar Park.
Another GPS devise analysed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been loaded with a sea route map to reach south Mumbai from Karachi using four waypoints.
The waypoints were named by the perpetrators as Jala-1, Jala-2, Jala-3 and Jala-4.
“Jala-4 is off Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade,” said the master mariner, who had prepared geographical maps showing all the waypoints found on the three GPS devises recovered from the attackers.
“First point on the 6-waypoint route is close, almost similar to Jala-4,” he said adding, the last point was just behind Hotel Taj Mahal, near Café Leopold on Shahid Bhagatsingh Marg in Colaba. Two of the attackers had fired inside Café Leopold.
A buddy pair which attacked Nariman House was also carrying a GPS devise, data from which could not be retrieved. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told HT that they too, most likely, reached the Jewish community center using a GPS route.
It became clear from the master mariner’s deposition that although there were three routes fed on the GPS devices, the attackers had used the ‘Jala’ route to reach Mumbai from Karachi. The witness said the waypoint Jala-3 was located roughly four nautical miles from south Mumbai, near Malabar point in the Arabian Sea where the attackers had abandoned the trawler MV Kuber.
Some data found on a notepad recovered from MV Kuber coincided with the four waypoints forming the ‘Jala’ route, according to the witness, who found few other words scribbled on the pad related to navigation.