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Plot to kill Kasab, says minister

Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil has said intelligence information indicates a plot was hatched "from abroad" to kill 26/11 terror suspect Ajmal Amir Kasab.

world Updated: Apr 16, 2009 00:51 IST

Maharashtra Home Minister Jayant Patil has said intelligence information indicates a plot was hatched "from abroad" to kill 26/11 terror suspect Ajmal Amir Kasab.

He told The Times that the alleged plot was the reason additional security measures like a bombproof tunnel were built in the special courtroom at the Arthur Road Jail where Kasab is being tried.

The paper also quoted Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria, in charge of the 26/11 probe, saying the same — that the police had uncovered a plan, originating in Pakistan, to silence Kasab.

But Maria said Kasab, an alleged member of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), knew very little. “We have a limb, not the brain of the organisation behind the attack,” he told The Times.

Christine Fair, a senior political scientist at US thinktank RAND Corporation, said: “He is the first LeT operative (caught during) an unquestionable terrorist outrage who is absolutely Pakistani. That he was caught alive — a weird thing for an LeT operative — puts Pakistan in a very difficult place.”

In order to make sure the trial goes off as smoothly as possible, the special courtroom — last used to try suspects in the deadly 1993 bomb blasts in the city — has been reinforced and a bombproof tunnel built from Kasab’s cell. Traffic will be banned from around the prison in central Mumbai for the duration of the trial, which is estimated to last up to six months and may involve the testimonies of as many as 2,000 witnesses.