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Hijacked trawler not used after attacks: Owner

india Updated: Jun 09, 2009 01:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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“We were very disturbed over the events that unfolded [during the 26/11 attacks],” owner of the fishing trawler, MV Kuber, Vinod Masani told the special court on Monday.

The trawler, which the 26/11 attackers had hijacked to reach the Mumbai coast. In the past, Pakistani authorities have seized two other boats belonging to the fisherman from Porbander.

The trawler’s maintenance work is on at the Porbunder port, Masani told the court. “We will use the boat for fishing only in the coming season.”

The fishing season resumes in August after the monsoon.

To a question from defence counsel Abbas Kazmi, Masani said that Pakistani authorities had in the past seized two of his family’s fishing boats. “The first one was seized five years ago, the other last year.”

“Sailors on one of the boats have returned, the others haven’t,” he said replying to a query from Judge M.L. Taheliyani.

Masani also said the navigator of another family boat Maa, Jeevan Hardas, was in touch with the navigator of MV Kuber, Amarsing Solanki, over walkie-talkie sets till late evening on November 20.

The former trawler had accompanied MV Kuber on the ill-fated trip when the 26/11 attackers hijacked it. Masani also told the court that most of the items found on MV Kuber — satellite phone, a global positioning system device, blankets, jackets — did not belong to him or the sailors.

Earlier, Kazmi had objected when Special Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked Masani to identify the items recovered on the trawler. The court overruled the same.

The court also recorded the deposition of another witness, Manjunath Ramshastri, manager with Corporation Bank at Porbunder. Ramshastri produced original papers, showing Masani’s eldest brother, Hiralal, as the trawler’s registered owner.

The documents are in the bank’s custody as it has advanced Rs 2 lakh to the Masanis to repair the trawler.