Mumbai lensman testifies against KasabMay 25th, 2009 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) A Mumbai photographer and witness in the 26/11 terror attacks Monday revealed how Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab had confessed to the killing of the navigator of the hijacked fishing vessel Kuber in which 10 terrorists sailed to the city.
The photographer, A.M. Takalkar, 26, told Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani that he was present as a “pancha” (witness) when Kasab recorded his initial statement confessing to killing the sailor, Amarsinh Solanki.
Takalkar, who is a freelancer, told Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that he heard Kasab recounting how he had slit Solanki’s throat. Police had recorded Kasab’s first statement at the Nair Hospital Nov 27 last year - a day after the launch of the Mumbai attack which left over 170 people dead.
Later, they guided the vessel, fitting with sophisticated navigational and communication equipment, to Mumbai. Around three nautical miles from the shore they boarded a motorized rubber dingy to land in the bay at Colaba, opposite the railway officers’ quarters, Badhwar Park, the day of the terror attacks.
Takalkar, who identified Kasab sitting in the dock, also said police inspector Marde and police sub-inspector C. Jadhav requested him to be a witness to which he agreed.
Takalkar said when he was taken to the truama care ward of the hospital, the accused was sitting on the bed and identified himself as Kasab.
He further told the special court that during the recording of his statement, Kasab said the 10-member terror group had used Kuber to reach Mumbai.
He also told the police after eliminating Solanki, he was helped by his associates Ismail Khan and Abu Shoaeb to hide the body in the engine room.
Kasab had expressed his willingness to show the place where the body was hidden, the satellite phones they used, the GPS equipment which aided their journey and a notebook, said Takalkar.
Later that evening (Nov 27), the Coast Guard helped locate the boat and it was brought to the Sassoon Docks in south Mumbai.
That night, police took Kasab, Takalkar and another witness Praveen Hargude, who was also present during the day, to Kuber.
There, Kasab led them to the engine room where Solanki’s body, with his neck slit, was found, Takalkar said.