'I was not there, it was my look-alike'

Twist in the tale: 26/11 terror attacks suspect Kasabs ultimate alibi

'I was not there, it was my look-alike'

caught in action: In this file photo taken on November 26, 2008, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the accused gunman walks at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai. PTI/ Courtesy Mumbai Mirror

It was a field day for Kasab, who abused the liberty given to the accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)to utter a big lie even by his own standards before the special court on Friday, leaving everyone disgusted by his performance.

Designated Judge M L Tahilyani was recording his statement on the evidence — documentary as well as testimonials of eye witnesses, CCTV footages and actual photographs — submitted by the prosecution during the ongoing 26/11 trial.
The evidence is such that Kasab’s conviction is certain beyond any shadow of doubt and he is certain to face the hangman’s noose.

But all his efforts now are directed at saving his own skin. Retracting his own confessional statement made before a magistrate in February 2008 and later a July 2008 statement pleading guilty to some of the charges, including massacring innocent people at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Kasab give his ultimate alibi — “It was a look-alike who was at CST, not I.”

And that look-alike was killed by the police, Kasab said. He even provided the name of his look-alike — Abu Ali. “I am his look- alike. His height and face resemble mine,” Kasasb said.

Kasab was put in the witness box to give his statement on the prosecution evidence. He said he came to India on a valid visa on the Samjhauta Express which runs between Lahore and Delhi 20 days before the Mumbai terror attacks, in search of an opening in Bollywood.

On November 25, 2008, while roaming on Juhu chowpatti in Mumbai, he was arrested and then tortured by the Crime Branch to give a confession, so ran his story. The only saving grace in his entire deposition was his admission that he is a Pakistani national from Faridkot village in Punjab province.

Confession

Kasab had made a confession before a magistrate on February 20, this year. At the beginning of the trial, he had retracted that confession, but again mid-way through the trial, after Pakistan officially acknowledged him to be its national, Kasab pleaded guilty to some of the charges framed against him.

Among other things, Kasab said he was coerced into making a confession by the magistrate and that he was not present during the attack on the CST.

“I was not present in the CST and I did not open firing inside the railway station,” he claimed.

The CST massacre is the one offence in which he has been charged with a host of eye-witnesses and more so he was captured on cameras as well CCTVs for the world to see him first hand.

Kasab rejected the evidence of a witness, Bharat Tamore, that he had seen the Pakistani terrorist and his nine compatriots when they got down from a dinghy at fishermen’s colony in south Mumbai.

Denials

Kasab claimed that he did not know anything about the dingy. “I have never seen an AK-47 in my life, or even a dingy,” he said.

He denied speaking to Pakistani militant leaders who allegedly directed the terrorist attacks from Pakistan and said that witnesses could identify him because his pictures had appeared in Indian newspapers and TV channels. He tried to exploit the David Headley investigation. He  said Headley had interrogated him as an FBI agent. When the judge told him that Headley has nothing to do with the ongoing case, Kasab said: “Do baatein bolkar katham karna chaahtha hoon, aaj bhi mujhe bolne ka mauka nahin mila tho (I want to finish by saying two lines, if I don’t get a chance to speak then.)”

But the judge cut him short and told him that he had to answer questions the court put to him. Kasab has denied all the charges levelled against him during the eight-month-long trial.

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