Evidence is weak, I didn't kill Karkare, Salaskar: Kasab



Mumbai: Describing evidence against him in the 26/11 attacks as "weak", Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab on Thursday asserted before Bombay High Court that police had not been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt he had killed police officers Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar.

His lawyer, Amin Solkar, harped on trial judge M L Tahaliyani's observation in the verdict that bullets recovered from bodies of Karkare and Salaskar did not tally with the weapons of Kasab and Abu Ismail, though bullets found in police officer Ashok Kamte's body matched with Ismail's rifle.

There was no conclusive evidence to prove that Kasab was present at the spot, near Cama Hospital, where Karkare and two other officers were gunned down and also to show that he had fired at them, Solkar, who concluded arguments on Kasab's appeal against death sentence awarded to him in 26/11 attack case, said.

Solkar said police had tried to connect Kasab with other terrorists, who had created mayhem at Hotels Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident, by saying that he too had planted a bomb in a locker at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus which did not explode. Similar bombs were planted by others at the hotels.

It was the case of prosecution that the pink-coloured thermocol used in packing the bomb at CST was similar to the one used for covering bombs found at Taj and Oberoi, Solkar, assisted by Farhana Shah and Santosh Deshpande, argued.

The police argument was without any strong evidence because pink thermocol can be procured from open market. Such material could have been planted at CST to connect Kasab with other bombs found elsewhere and rope him in the conspiracy, Solkar argued.

Kasab's lawyer countered prosecution's argument that rear windscreen of Skoda car hijacked by Kasab and his partner Abu Ismael was completely shattered by police bullets. He said this submission was "an after-thought and a pack of lies".

The case was falsified by panchnama of a police jeep which indicated that there were only three holes in the windscreen which were caused due to entry of bullets fired by police, Solkar argued.

He alleged that one of the jackets found in Kuber boat was planted by police.

Fourteen jackets and 14 blankets were left in Kuber by terrorists after their arrival in Mumbai from Pakistan, Solaskar claimed. However, police has said there were 15 jackets on the boat.

Solaskar alleged that this was done with an ulterior motive to show Kasab also arrived in Kuber along with other terrorists from Pakistan.

Kasab has taken the plea that he had arrived in Delhi much prior to the terror attacks by Samjhauta Express to watch Hindi movies in Mumbai.

Kasab claimed that he was arrested by police at Juhu beach and at the time the terrorists struck at various places in the city, he was in custody.

Salaskar concluded arguments on his appeal against his conviction. On Monday, the prosecution would reply to defence arguments.

Thereafter, both sides would argue on the point of death sentence awarded to Kasab for his role in the killing 166 people in terror attacks.

Finally, the court would hear government's appeal challenging acquittal of Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.

The case is expected to conclude within a week after which the court would reserve order for judgement.

PTI