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Kasab picks up Marathi during 26/11 Mumbai attack trial

Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 15:09

Mumbai: "Nahin, Nahin, Taap Nahin (No, No, I
don`t have fever)," these words in Marathi were uttered by
Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 terror trial court
when the court staff enquired from him whether he was unwell.

Ever since the trial began in May, Kasab, a fourth
standard dropout of an Urdu medium school, has been keenly
observing the proceedings and picked up bits of English and
even Marathi as witnesses, lawyers and the judge speak in
these languages although the evidence is recorded in English.

"Tumhi Nighun Ja (You may leave)," were the first words
in Marathi which Kasab learnt as Special Public Prosecutor
Ujjwal Nikam would utter these to him after the court

Not short on humour, Kasab now sometimes says "Tumhi
Nighun Ja" to Nikam during the lunch recess before both of
them burst into laughter, breaking the sombre monotony of the
court proceedings.

The lone surviving terrorist of 26/11 Mumbai attack can
be heard wishing "good morning" to Special Court Judge M L

On occasions when witnesses depose in English, the judge
would ask him "have you followed?", drawing a nod in assent
from Kasab.

"Kasab is very intelligent and has good grasping power.
His military training by the 26/11 conspirators in Pakistan
probably has something to do with it," Nikam told a news agency.

Kasab`s mood, Nikam said, fluctuated between the docility
and testiness. "On Raksha Bandhan, he inquired from his lawyer
whether some girl would come to tie a Rakhi on his wrist,
while on another occasion he threw tantrums for mutton biryani
to be served to him in jail," said Nikam.

Of late, however, he has been sitting unusually quiet in
the dock without even looking at the judge, lawyers, the court
staff and media representatives.

Kasab shares the dock with two other accused, Faheem
Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. Four constables guard the dock,
two on each side, an uncommon sight in a courtroom.

Kasab is brought to the court, that functions inside the
Arthur Road Jail, escorted by eight to 10 guards, who take him
back to the cell after the proceedings where he is guarded by
a strong posse of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.


First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 15:09
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