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Kasab's statement poses challenge to prosecution

The stand taken by lone surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab that he is not a terrorist and was being framed by police in the 26/11 terror attack case would pose a big challenge to the prosecution in final arguments slated to begin on March 9 in a special court in Mumbai.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 11:43 IST

The stand taken by lone surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab that he is not a terrorist and was being framed by police in the 26/11 terror attack case would pose a big challenge to the prosecution in final arguments slated to begin on March 9 in a special court in Mumbai.

While Kasab's lawyer K P Pawar would focus arguments on this aspect, the prosecution led by Ujjwal Nikam would have to disprove Kasab's statement in the court that he had come from Pakistan by Samjhauta Express as a tourist to Delhi and from there arrived in Mumbai few days before the attacks.

Special Public Prosecutor Nikam would also have to demolish Kasab's claims that he was not injured in police encounter and that the injury sustained by him in hand was inflicted by police to implicate him in the crime.

The prosecution's case is that Kasab had sailed from Karachi along with nine terrorists in a boat and midway they hijacked Indian fishing trawler Kuber by which they arrived near Mumbai coast. They were carrying a dingy (rubber boat) with the help of which they landed on the shores of the city.

After landing in Mumbai the terrorists, in pairs of two and four, fanned out to different areas and shot at people in Hotel Taj, Hotel Trident, Leopold Cafe, Nariman House, CST and Cama hospital, killing 166 persons and injuring many others.

Kasab has disputed prosecution's charge that he and other terrorists had opened fire with AK-47 rifles and told the court that he had never seen such a weapon.

Kasab has denied killing police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamate, Vijay Salaskar and constable Tukaram Ombale. He has also refuted police charge about planting bombs in two taxis, which exploded killing several people.

The prosecution, on the other hand, is banking heavily on evidence of 30 eyewitnesses who have identified Kasab as the one who had fired at people.

The DNA report of Kasab has matched with the articles found in Kuber boat and also with the DNA samples of other terrorists who were killed by armed forces in the attack.

The prosecution has produced technical evidence to show that terrorists in the attack used mobile phones and that they were in touch with their handlers in Pakistan. These numbers were connected to an account created with CALLPHONEX, a VOIP service provider based in New Jersey, USA.

Prosecutor Nikam is also banking on CCTV footages produced in the court, which showed Kasab and others in terror attacks. The clips were from CCTV cameras installed outside Times of India building opposite CST and at hotels Taj and Oberoi, which were targeted in the attacks.

Besides Kasab, two Indian nationals-- Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed-- are also facing the trial. They are charged with preparing maps of terror targets and handing them over to Lashkar-e-Taiba to carry out the attacks.

One map was found from the pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismael. The handwriting in this map matches with that of Faheem, according to evidence tendered by an expert.

A witness has also testified that in his presence Faheem had handed over maps to Sabauddin in Nepal asking him to forward them to LeT.

Both have denied the charges saying police has planted the papers and they had never drawn any maps and were not involved in the conspiracy.