Concluding one of the quickest terror trials, the special court on Wednesday declared May 3 as the date for pronouncing the final verdict in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case. The verdict comes about 15 months after ten alleged LeT operatives killed 166 people in the city, holding it at ransom for nearly 60 hours.
The trial of sole surviving Pakistani gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab and two locals, Fahim Arshad Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, concluded on Wednesday after the prosecution and defence counsels wrapped up their final arguments.
The 22-year-old Pakistani national faces 86 charges. If convicted for conspiracy and waging war against a nation, he could be given a death sentence.
The year-long historic trial saw several dramatic twists and turns. Kasab in his initial statements confessed his crimes before a magistrate detailing his role and talking about his slain accomplices and the perpetrators of the attack but retracted the confession and pleaded not guilty when charges were framed against him.
Changing his plea dramatically, Kasab went on to describe to the special court how events unfolded right from his indoctrination by the LeT bosses, his training at secret LeT camps across the border, how the group of 10 terrorists landed on Mumbai shore and how he killed passengers at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
In his plea of guilt, Kasab also described how three senior police officials — the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Additional CP Ashok Kamte and encounter cop Vijay Salaskar — were gunned down outside Cama Hospital.
The two locals also face death sentence if convicted for either of the charges of conspiracy or waging war against the nation. According to the prosecution’s case, they allegedly provided local support by conducting a recee of important city locations and handing over hand-drawn maps to the perpetrators.
Special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam expressed confidence that the prosecution had presented concrete and cogent evidence to the court to establish the charges levelled against all the accused.
He said that his statement that the attack was a classic case of state-sponsored terrorism executed under direct supervision of Pakistani army officers was established when David Coleman Headley admitted it before a Chicago court a few days ago.