Kasab says he was not at CST, police falsely implicated him

Last Updated: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 19:45

Mumbai: Denying his role in the 26/11
attacks at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, Pakistani
terrorist Ajmal Kasab on Friday told Bombay High Court that police
had cooked up a story to falsely implicate him in the crime.

Picking up holes in the prosecution`s case and
pointing out contradictions in the accounts of witnesses,
defence lawyers Amin Solkar, Farhana Shah and Santosh
Deshpande argued that Kasab was not present at CST when the
incident happened.
"We do not deny the incident, we also do not dispute
that two terrorists had fired at people... all that we say is
that Kasab was not at CST at the relevant time," they told
justices Ranjana Desai and R V More who are hearing arguments
on confirmation of death sentence awarded to Kasab.

Kasab did not appear on the screen put up in the court
for the video conference link to enable him hear the
proceedings.

Solkar urged the judges to visit the terror spots
personally to get a first hand impression of the topography in
order to appreciate the evidence adduced by the prosecution
against Kasab.

The judges said they were inclined to visit the spots
and would fix up a day next week for this purpose. A decision
on this matter would be taken soon, the bench said.

Earlier, senior sessions judge M L Tahaliyani, who had
awarded death sentence to Kasab, had also visited the terror
spots before the trial.

Solkar pointed out contradictions in the testimony of
witnesses and said police constable Bharat Bhosale, who was
injured in the shoot-out at CST, had disclosed that a hand
grenade was thrown by terrorists first and then after 10
minutes they fired at people.

However, other witnesses were silent on this aspect,
Solkar argued.

Only one witness had said that there was an explosion
at CST before the terrorists fired. Other witnesses have said
they heard two explosions and not one, Kasab`s lawyer said.

Solkar argued that constable Bhosale said he had seen
Kasab reloading his rifle at CST but did not say anything to
identify him. He also did not describe Kasab in his statement
to police although he identified Kasab in the court as the
gunman who had fired at people. "I had forgot to describe
Kasab in statement to police," Bhosale had told the court.

Moreover, Bhonsale was not shown Kasab`s weapon in the
trial court, Solkar submitted.
"This witness cannot be called reliable. His testimony
should not be believed because he was not present at CST and
was introduced by police to implicate Kasab," he argued.

The defence lawyer also disputed the presence of
constable Jillu Jadhav who claimed to have confronted Kasab at
CST by throwing a chair at him as his rifle got jammed and
failed to fire bullets.

Solkar said Jadhav had told police as well as the
court that he had hid himself behind a pillar to protect
himself from the bullets fired by Kasab. In such a situation,
how could he see Kasab, more particularly when he was behind a
pillar, he asked.

Most of the witnesses have given a general description
of Kasab as `butka` (a person of short height) and his partner
Abu Ismael as `lambu` (a tall person). Such identification was
not relevant and should be discarded, Solkar argued.

Also, the witnesses have said that they had seen Kasab
and his accomplice from a distance of 25-30 feet. From such
a distance, their faces cannot be seen clearly and hence it is
difficult to believe that they had seen Kasab, the lawyer
said.

The CCTV footages are also not visible and do not show
the faces of Kasab and slain terrorist Abu Ismael clearly, the
lawyer pointed out.

Arguments were inconclusive and would continue
tomorrow.

23-year-old Kasab, who is now confined to Arthur Road
Central Jail, was awarded death sentence on May 6 by a trial
court for his role in killing 166 people in the terror attacks
plotted by LeT in Pakistan.
The sentence has come up for confirmation before the
high court which would also hear the appeal filed by Kasab
against his conviction as well as appeal filed by the state
government against the acquittal of co-accused Faheem Ansari
and Sabauddin Ahmed on account of "doubtful evidence".

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 19:45

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