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Crucial 26/11 witness reported missing

August 28, 2009 15:27 IST
A key witness of the November 26, 2008 terror attack on Mumbai, in which more than 160 people lost their lives and more than 300 were injured, is being reported as missing.

According to a television channel report, Nuruddin Mehboob Shaikh was called for questioning by Mumbai police, but when he did not turn up, he was declared missing.

He has been reported missing since 6.30 am on Friday morning.

Shaikh has emerged as a key witness in the wake of him saying that he had seen the maps of Mumbai prepared by terror suspect Fahim Ansari.

Shaikh, a Mumbai driver, claimed to know Ansari and has admitted that he was in his room in Nepal, and witnessed to many an incriminating episode there.

He deposed before the special sessions court on Thursday. Shaikh, who lives in suburban Goregaon, told the court that he knew Ansari for 30 long years. 

While on a visit to Nepal in January 2008, he happened to meet Ansari in Kathmandu. Ansari invited him to his guesthouse on New Road for a chat.

Around 8.30 p.m., Sabahuddin came to the room and asked Ansari, "Did you do the work assigned by Lakhvi?" Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, is one of India's most wanted terror suspect against whom there is a Red Corner Notice.

According to Shaikh, Ansari opened a bag and was giving some papers to Sabahuddin, when he dropped them. "I saw that they were maps. I asked Fahim whether he had started a new business of mapmaking," Shaikh said.

To this, Sabahuddin replied, "Some of my friends from Pakistan want to visit Mumbai; they would need these maps." "I said they could get maps from anywhere. But Fahim said the maps do not have proper information and that is why one needed handmade maps," Shaikh told the court.

Shaikh said the maps he saw were drawn on ruled sheets of paper resembling those from a school notebook. There were around eight to 10 such sheets, he said.

Source: ANI