26/11 could have been deadlier

Pak ultras were carrying a powerful bomb which could have killed several more

The sack in which the bomb was placed was lying among the baggage left by victims of the terror attack in the passengers lounge at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus(CST). The sack alon           g with other unclaimed baggage was then collected by the police and kept in the parcel area. Later, the bomb was detected and defused.

A witness, who had acted as a ‘panch’ on December 11 last year, deposed before the special court on Friday and related how the parcel bomb was defused, as Kasab listened to the entire testimony attentively.

“Two detonator wires were brought into a contact with white powder (RDX) and there was a blast,” Rajesh Kacheria, a businessman, told the court. The prosecution’s case is that Kasab and Abu Ismail had kept the parcel bomb in a CST locker. The bomb was recovered from the parcel counter of the CST which was defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad at their office to which he was a witness.

Seized arms

Another witness, Indrajit Singh, a hawker, said the police had recovered 13 cartridges, 2 magazines, 8 empty magazines, and one safety pin of hand grenade from CST in his presence. The seized arms were produced in the court by the prosecution. The judge M L Tahilyani asked Kasab whether he wanted to have a look at the seized arms and ammunition, but Kasab did not reply and just smiled.

On Thursday, the judge had blasted an RPF PI, Khiratkar for not going after Kasab and Ismail. Khiratkar was in-charge of the suburban RPF post which has the CCTV control room as well.

The police officer told the court that he had fired 20 rounds and chased Kasab and Ismail till they went out of the CST using a Foot Over Bridge on platform number 1.
The officer then learnt that the two had escaped out of the CST but he still continued to search for them. Another RPF officer then told him that the terrorists had gone far away.
When Kasab’s lawyer Abbas Kazmi asked Khiratkar whether he followed the terrorists outside CST.

At this point, the judge got upset and asked the PI why he did not follow the terrorists outside CST.

“Did you ask him (another officer) where they went? You are a police officer, right? Was it not your duty to ask him where they went? You were not prevented from leaving the station. Didn’t you feel the need to go out and search?”
Khiratkar had no explaination and the judge said he would make observations about the police conduct in his judgement.

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