No Urdu copies of chargesheet for Mumbai terror accused

March 9th, 2009 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) A Mumbai court has dismissed an appeal by Ajmal Amir Kasab, Fahim Ansari and Salahuddin Ahmed, who demanded that the 12,000-page chargesheet accusing them of involvement in the Mumbai terror strikes be given to them in Urdu because they could not understand English or Marathi.
While Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the Nov 26-29 terror attack, is a Pakistani, Ansari and Mohammed are Indians.

The magistrate N.N. Shrimangale also remanded the hearing of the case to the special court headed by Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani, who will conduct the hearing in a high security courtroom being set up inside south Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.

The matter will come up before the special court March 23, Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam said.

He said copies of the chargesheet in English and Marathi were given to the trio but “the language of the courts in Maharashtra is Marathi, so there is no provision to provide the accused with a copy in Urdu”.

According to him, the move to ask for an Urdu chargesheet was an “attempt to delay the proceedings”.

Nikam said so far Kasab had no lawyer to represent him in the trial.

The Mumbai Police had on Feb 25 filed charges against Kasab and 37 other accused, including Indians and Pakistanis, for planning, abetting the attacks and waging war against India.

The other 37 accused have been listed as “wanted absconders” in the case.

Nine other terrorists were killed during the 60-hour carnage targeting luxury hotels, a Jewish centre of worship and one of the busiest railway terminals of India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. More than 170 people were dead at the end of the mayhem.

Nikam has said the prosecution plans to complete the trial within three to six months.

Various charges under different laws, including the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Terrorist Act, Customs Act, Immigration Act and others, have been framed against the accused.

The offences against them include kidnapping, attempt to murder, murder, conspiracy of terror, trespassing and damaging public property.

The chargesheet, running into nearly 12,000 pages, comprises the detailed investigations dossier handed over to the Pakistan government, the answers to the “30 questions” raised by Pakistan on the Mumbai probe, and forensic tests reports as well as details of taped conversations.

The terrorists killed in the operation according to the police are Hafeez Arshad alias Bada Abdul Rehman, Javed alias Abu Ali, Shoaib alias Abu Soheb, Umar (killed in Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower); Abdul Rehman, Fahad Ullah alias Abu Fahad (both shot dead in Hotel Trident-Oberoi); Nasir alias Abu Umar, Babar Imran alias Abu Akash (eliminated at Nariman House) and Ismail Khan alias Abu Ismail (killed near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus).

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