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First independent witness identifies Kasab

india Updated: May 28, 2009 01:55 IST
HT Correspondent

Bharat Dattatrey Tomare (54), the first person who reportedly saw all 10 suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba terrorists huddled in a dinghy at Badhwar Park before they carried out the 26/11 terror strike, identified Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab as one of the men who got down from the dinghy.

A resident of Machimaar Colony near Badhwar Park and an employee of Hotel Taj Palace and Tower, Tomare was on his way to the hotel when he reportedly saw eight people — not known in the locality and around 20 to 25 years old — get out of the dinghy.

Each of them was wearing an orange life jacket, carrying a haversack and a handbag, Tomare, the first independent witness, told the special court on Wednesday.

The eight after getting out of the dinghy removed their life jackets and pulled out haversacks and handbags, he said.

When Tomare confronted two men who walked towards him, one of them identified himself as a college student, he added.

Tomare identified the person who told him they were college students as Kasab, before Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani. The other person whom he identified during an identification parade was Abu Ismail, he said.

Tomare told the court that he was shown 12 bodies and could distinguish Ismail because Ismail had frowned at him and asked why he was concerned about their identity.

The remaining two men in the dinghy then went towards Nariman Point, he said.

Fisherman Prashant Dhanu (24) told the court that he was out fishing when he saw an abandoned rubber boat lying in the sea near Nariman Point.

Dhanu said he thought the boat belonged to some fisherman from his locality and he towed it to shore. He said the dinghy had a Yamaha motor.

The court also recorded the testimony of G. Rajkumar, a marine engineer employed with George Baggio, the sole distributor of Yamaha boat engines in India.

He testified that the 40 horsepower Yamaha engine attached to the dinghy was neither imported by his company nor distributed in India.