Two months after a key witness in the 26/11 attacks case failed to appear in court for a questioning, another witness — Bharat Thakur, a resident of Motilal Nagar, Goregaon — was reported missing on Tuesday.
“The witness left his house three months ago and even his family members don't know his whereabouts,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the special court of Judge M.L. Taheiliyani. “Crime branch officials had gone to Thakur’s residence a number of times but the summons could not be served.”
The court had issued a summons against Thakur, an autorickshaw driver, two weeks ago. Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) Deven Bharati said: “Our teams have been dispatched to trace Thakur.”
On August 28, Nuruddin Shaikh, a key witness in the case and a close friend of Thakur’s, had gone missing for a day.
In January 2008, Shaikh and Thakur had gone to Thakur’s native place in Pashupatinath, Nepal. Shaikh had accidentally met his neighbour Fahim Ansari, a 26/11 accused, in Kathmandu and, according to the prosecution, seen Fahim hand over hand-drawn maps to co-accused Sabauddin Ahmed.
The prosecution claims Fahim had drawn the maps of Mumbai’s landmarks and these were used by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba to plan the attacks. The prosecution wanted to question Thakur to corroborate Shaikh’s evidence.
HT found there were three more persons by the name of Bharat Thakur — two of them autorickshaw drivers — living near Motilal Nagar, but they were not witnesses in 26/11 case.