All set for 26/11 trial verdict

May 3rd, 2010 - 11:05 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 3 (IANS) The fate of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist captured after the audacious attack on India’s financial and entertainment capital on 26/11, will be decided by Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani here Monday.
As per indications, Tahaliyani is likely to pronounce his verdict in the Mumbai terror attacks case around noon Monday amidst tight security both within and outside the Arthur Road Central Jail precincts in congested south Mumbai.

His verdict will signal the end of the case - the trial which started April 15, 2009 and ended March 31 this year.

The high-profile trial revolved around Kasab, the prime accused, and two Indian co-accused Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed. Ten Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai and unleashed 60 hours of mayhem that left 166 people dead and 244 injured.

While some reports have said that Kasab is unwell and may have to undergo abdominal surgery after the verdict, no officials have been willing to confirm the statement.

Media persons, including foreign journalists, queued up since early Monday to enter the Special Court for the verdict.

Local residents have been provided with special passes to enable them to come and go from the area without hindrance.

Taking absolutely no chances, police have erected blockades and forces at all the major entry and exit points, the roads leading to and from the jail.

The terrorists had targeted several sites such as the World Heritage Building of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Hotel Oberoi-Trident, Cama Hospital and the Chabad House, a Jewish prayer centre and Leopold Cafe, a favourite among foreigners.

During the trial, a whopping 653 witnesses were examined by the prosecution and a 675-page written submission was filed.

The witnesses included many survivors of the terror attacks, eyewitnesses, family members of the victims, police officials, several foreign nationals, Indian security officials and officials from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Besides Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, defence lawyers, including Kasab’s lawyer K.P. Pawar, Ansari’s lawyer R.B. Mokashi, Ahmed’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi are expected to be present when the verdict is delivered.

Kasab has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including waging war against the nation. He also faces charges under the Explosives Act, Arms Act, Passport Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act, Customs Act, Explosive Substances Act, Bombay Police Act, Foreigners Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The two Indian co-accused have been charged with conspiracy in the terror attacks by preparing maps of the targeted locations and handing these to LeT operatives.

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