Glass shards on its seats, gaping bullet holes on the windshield and metal body, MH 01 BA 569 is no ordinary vehicle.
The white/blue Toyota Qualis was witness to the death of six of Mumbai’s finest at the hands of Pakistani gunmen Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail during the November 26, 2008 siege.
Lying at the police commissionerate for over two years, the vehicle is all set to come out of retirement and return to the Mumbai Police squad. “The court has cleared the vehicle’s re-induction. In a day or two, we will be sending it to the motor transport department for repairs,” said crime branch senior inspector and 26/11 investigating officer Ramesh Mahale.
The car needs new interiors and tyres but the engine is in excellent condition, said additional commissioner of police (crime) Deven Bharati.
The vehicle was taken into the possession of the special court trying the 26/11 case. Three months after trial began in 2009, its original user, an assistant commissioner of police, made an application to the court seeking its return to his office. “The court gave an order in the ACP’s favour," Mahale said.
Additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte, joint commissioner of police Hemant Karkare and senior inspector Vijay Salaskar died in that car fighting the gunmen. After killing them, Kasab and Ismail took off in the same car and killed three more policemen in their terror spree. They ditched the vehicle after the police flattened its tyres.