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Mumbai Heat
Kasab’s custody till Dec 24
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, December 11
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, alias Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist who carried out last month’s attack in the city to be captured alive, was today remanded to police custody till December 24 by magistrate N.N. Sarvamangale of the Esplanade Metropolitan Court.

Unlike the usual practice of producing a suspect before the court, the authorities decided to get the magistrate and prosecutor to the crime branch lock up at the Mumbai police commissioner’s office in south Mumbai. The decision was taken to prevent an attack on the terrorist or attempts by his associates to free him from the custody.

Briefing the media after the extention of remand, additional public prosecutor Eknath Dhumal said Kasab was asked if he had any complaints against the police. “Ajmal told the magistrate that he had no complaints against the police,” Dhumal said.

The police says Kasab has provided them information enabling them to piece together the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s terror plan and the training provided to the terrorists who struck Mumbai. Further interrogation of Kasab was required to continue with the investigations, the magistrate was told.

Charges have been filed against Kasab under various provisions of the IPC, the Indian Arms Act, and the Indian Explosives Act. The charges include criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation, murder and attempt to murder. He is directly charged with shooting the chief of the anti-terror squad of the Mumbai police, Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte. According to the prosecution, the names of Kasab’s associates have been given as Bada Abdul Rehaman, Abu Ali, Abu Soheb, Umar, Abdul Rehaman Chhota, Fahad Ullah, Ismail Khan, Nasir, alias Abu Umer, and Babar Imaran, alias Abu Akasha. All of them were killed in the commando operation.

Meanwhile, Kasab is yet to receive any legal assistance since no lawyer in the city is willing to take up his case. Even the government’s own lawyer who was asked to represent the shooter turned down the assignment. The Maharashtra governments’ Legal Aid Cell, which arranges for the legal assistance to indigent accused, approached advocate Dinesh Mota who refused to take up Kasab’s case.

Earlier, the Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s Bar Association passed a resolution saying none of its members would defend those accused in the Mumbai terror attacks.

Advocate Rohini Wagh, president of the association, said the decision not to represent Kasab was taken in the light of media photographs and television shots which clearly showed him firing at people. She, however, added that the association could not penalise anyone if he or she decided to defend Kasab.

Among those who decided to support the ban on defending Kasab include noted defense lawyers like Majeed Memon and Rajan Shirodkar who had earlier defended those who carried out the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and other terror acts.



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