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Raj Bhawan was a target during 26/11
Published on 20 Apr. 2009 11:20 PM IST
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Last November’s Mumbai terror strikes were part of a larger conspiracy to attack other important metropolitan cities of India, public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the Special Court here on Monday. Among other places which were on the target of the duo was Malabar Hill area. The area has many high profile installations, including the Raj Bhawan. The duo was asked to attack the area after striking at the CST. But the two failed to get a car from the parking lot at the CST which foiled their plan. Kasab had earlier disclosed that the head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Amir Hafiz Saeed had instructed them at a training camp that “India’s financial strength is because of foreign visitors. So, to destroy the financial power you have to attack places which are frequented by foreigners and other places as well.” The disclosure was part of the confession read out by the special public prosecutor to the Special Court while opening the prosecution’s case against Kasab last week. Kasab had retracted the confession, made before a magistrate in February, alleging it was extracted out of him by police officials through torture. In the parts of the confession read to the court, Kasab had said they were told they would go to “jannat” (heaven) if they died while on the mission. “LeT operative Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi told us that it was time for jihad and said our community had been fighting in Kashmir for the last 15 years”, he said. “Despite that, the Indian government had not freed Kashmir. Now, we had to fight a war with India and claim Kashmir back we were told,” Kasab stated. In the confession, Kasab had also described the training he underwent while in Pakistan, including multiple camps in which he was taught use of assault rifles, rifles, pistols, rocket-launcher and hand grenade. “Apart from that, we were trained in use of satellite phone, GPS system, map reading, how to climb mountains after starving for 60 hours with a weight on our backs,” Kasab said. They were also given training in the working of intelligence agencies and how to use methods to deceive persons following them while driving on road and also how to sail to India using a hijacked vessel, he had said. 312 charges against 45 terrorists The police Monday filed before a special court 312 draft charges against 47 terrorists, including 35 Pakistanis and Ajmal Amir Kasab, accused in the Mumbai terror attacks. Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that among the accused are the nine terrorists who were killed in the 60-hour gunbattle Nov 26-28, 2008 with security forces at various places, and the nabbed Lashkar-e-Taiba activists of India, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed, who are facing trial with Kasab. The charges pertain to waging war against India, killing and attempting to kill Indians and foreign nationals, hatching a criminal conspiracy, creating terror, destabilising the Indian government and weakening the country’s economy, Nikam said. Continuing his opening remarks on the third day of the 26/11 trial before Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani, Nikam said Fahim and Sabahuddin were part of the 26/11 criminal conspiracy that was hatched in Pakistan. “We have recovered maps of south Mumbai from the body of Abu Ismail, Kasab’s associate, who was killed in the encounter by the police at Girgaum Chowpatty,” he added. The duo had met in Kathmandu where Fahim handed over the reconnaissance maps to Sabahuddin. “Sabahuddin could have taken them to Karachi and handed them to Zakir Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attacks. They were told that the maps were prepared after taking great pains,” Nikam added. Nikam also submitted before the special court four mobile phone numbers of which three were used by the accused to communicate amongst themselves during the Mumbai terror attacks. During the proceedings, Kasab claimed that he could not follow the proceedings in the matter, his government-appointed lawyer S.G. Abbas Kazmi said. “He said that he could only understand two words - Kasab and Pakistan - in the entire proceedings,” Kazmi pointed out.

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