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Pakistani judicial panel cross-examines 26/11 witnesses, to inspect gear

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Pakistani judicial panel cross-examines 26/11 witnesses, to inspect gear
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Mumbai: An eight-member Pakistan judicial commission will Wednesday inspect a rubbery dinghy, its Yamaha engine, cellphones, GPS and other articles used by the 10 terrorists who carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

The commission - currently in Mumbai to cross-examine four Indian witnesses in connection with the ongoing trial of seven suspects in a Pakistani court for their involvement in the terror attack - made a request before the court to examine these articles.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P.Y. Ladekar enquired of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who said that the articles lying at the Arthur Road Central Jail would be produced for the benefit of the visiting commission.

The 10 Pakistani terrorists had hijacked an Indian fishing vessel Kuber and later used the rubber dinghy to reach the Mumbai coast late evening on Nov 26, 2008 before carrying out the brutal terror attacks in various locations in south Mumbai.

In the three days of the attacks - which culminated in the killing of nine terrorists and capturing one identified as Ajmal Amir Kasab alive, 166 people were killed and several hundred left injured.

During the course of proceedings today, two medicos, Shailesh Mohite and Ganesh Nithurkar, gave a brief account of the autopsies they performed on the bodies of the nine slain terrorists.

However, the commission did not cross-examine them.

Nikam later informed media persons that perhaps the commission did not want to dispute the injuries caused to the terrorists or disagree about the number of casualties.

He said that two remaining witnesses, magistrate R. V. Sawant-Waghule, who had recorded Kasab's first confession early Nov 27, and 26/11 investigating officer Ramesh Mahale will depose Wednesday.

Earlier, the commission arrived on its second visit here to cross-examine the Indian witnesses amid stringent security in the court Tuesday morning.

In its previous visit in March 2012, the commission had examined the same witnesses. However, its then report to the Pakistani anti-terror court was rejected as the witnesses were not allowed to be cross-examined here.

Later, the matter was sorted out between the two governments with an agreement that the Pakistani panel could cross-examine four Indian witnesses so that the evidence could be usedin the trial against Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and others in that country.

The Pakistani judicial commission includes a new special public prosecutor, two officers from the anti-terror court and two defence witnesses.

On the night of Nov. 26, 2008, 10 heavily armed terrorists sneaked into south Mumbai by Arabian Sea route and targeted various prominent locations there.

They fired indiscriminately at all the public places including like Leopold Cafe, Hotel Taj Mahal, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Chabad House, Hotel Trident and Cama Hospital, killing 166.

While nine of the attackers were gunned down in a massive anti-terrorist operation mounted by the security agencies, Kasab was nabbed alive.

Those killed in the operations were: Ismail Khan alias Abu Ismail, Imran Babar alias Abu Aakasha, Nasir alias Abu Umar, Nazir Ahmad alias Abu Umer, Hafiz Arshad alias Abdul Rehman Bada alias Hayaji, Abdul Rehman Chhota alias Saakib, Fahad Ullah, Javed alias Abu Ali, Shoaib alias Abu Shoheb.

Kasab was tried and sentenced to death by various courts right upto the Supreme Court and hanged in Yerawada Central Jail in November 2012.

IANS

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