26/11 witness not traceable, Nikam tells trial Court

Mumbai: A 26/11 prosecution witness is not traceable for last three months and all efforts to find him have gone in vain, a special court trying Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab and two others was informed on Tuesday.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam filed a report in the court saying Bharat Thakur was not traceable and therefore could not be summoned as witness.

The prosecution wanted to examine Thakur to prove that accused Faheem Ansari had visited Nepal. Ansari had allegedly drawn maps of locations in Mumbai which were targeted in terror attacks. The charge against him is that he had handed over the maps to Lashkar-e-Taiba which had planned the attacks.

Ansari's friend Nurrudin had gone to Nepal to visit Thakur's home. As Thakur fell sick, Nurrudin did not stay with him and went to Kathmandu where he met Ansari. He saw maps with Ansari who told him he had drawn them with his own hand, Nikam said.

In another development, the prosecution would tomorrow examine Lisa Ringaner whose mobile was used by terrorists in Hotel Taj. She had left the room after hearing that terrorists had stormed the hotel.

Prosecutor Nikam also informed that witness Hamisa Bilakhia, a resident of Gujarat, was also not traceable and efforts to contact her on phone had drawn a blank. The Court, however, asked the prosecution to try again to locate her.

Hamisa had sustained injuries in the terror attack and her deposition would corroborate the evidence tendered by ballistic experts, Nikam said.

About 245 witnesses have been examined so far in the trial which has reached its fag end.

The three accused facing the trial are Pakistan gunman Ajmal Kasab, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.

Bureau Report