The crime branch team that investigated the 26/11 attacks has “mixed” feelings about the verdict. They are happy with Ajmal Amir Kasab’s conviction, but Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharti told Shailendra Mohan they will appeal against the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. Excerpts:
What do you think of the judgement?
Both my team and I have mixed feelings right now.
What was the investigation like in its early stages?
The initial days when we interrogated Ajmal Amir Kasab and the subsequent investigations were very laborious. We did not have any sense of time. The team worked tirelessly on the case. For months together hundreds of our officers forgot their homes and sleep. During the final phase of the preparation of the chargesheet, all of us, including then Joint Commissioner (Crime) Mr. Rakesh Maria, had to stay back in office for nearly a week.
The court called one of the witnesses “made up” and rubbished the statement given by Constable Arun Jadhav about a burst of firing…
We are yet to get a copy of the judgement. Once I have a copy, I will be able to answer what part of evidence was not appreciated.
The court has said who killed Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar could not be established because findings from ballistic reports did not match the bullets fired by either Kasab or Abu Ismail. Your comments.
The bullets found in their bodies were badly mangled due to the impact [when they hit the bodies] and so it could not be ascertained who fired them, whether Ismail or Kasab, but other evidence helped in proving that the duo killed them.
If we look at the judgement, it means there was no local or Indian terrorist involved in the attack. What do you have to say about that?
Yes. Both Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin have been acquitted so the judgement does say that.
Will you appeal against the acquittals?
We are definitely going to appeal. We want to have a look at a copy of the order, peruse it and then go ahead with the necessary procedure.