It seems that the mastermind who trained the 10 Pakistani terrorists before they landed in Mumbai in November 2008, had visualised a situation that a few of them would get caught and engage themselves in a protracted court case, and even thought up a way for them: deny everything, question everything.
The way in which Mohammed Ajmal Kasab answered while recording his statements on Monday under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seems to indicate that the lone captured terrorist could have been trained in playing mind games and psychological warfare.
On Monday, Kasab spun one more tale when he told Judge M L Tahilyani that the bullet wounds in his hands were the result of him being given anaesthesia and then shot in police custody.
He said this when the judge asked him if he was injured when the slain Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Ashok Kamte fired at him and terrorist Abu Ismail when they were hiding in the bushes near the Rang Bhavan lane on the night of November 26, 2008.
He also said, "The Mumbai police roamed with me on the night of November 26 in the Rang Bhavan lane when I was in their custody. They later shot me after numbing my hands with anaesthesia."
When the judge asked him if he tried to open the white Ambassador car in which driver Maruti Phad lay injured, Kasab pointed out to the judge that if that were the case, the police should have found his fingerprints on the handle of the car door.
During the entire afternoon proceedings, Kasab listened intently to the queries posed by the judge on the basis of evidence produced by the prosecution.
The boyish charm on Kasab's face would turn into a studied look as he listened to the questions asked by the judge, simultaneously working his brain to produce an apt response.
Interestingly, Kasab maintained consistency in his responses, all the while showing glimpses of a sharp trained mind.
In another instance that indicated that Kasab is trained in mind games, he tried to delay the proceedings by requesting the judge if his statements could be recorded on Tuesday.
"I'm not in my proper senses today as I ate food this morning," he told the judge, trying to insinuate that the police laces his food with sedatives. "I will answer all your queries tomorrow because I will not eat food before coming here."
Kasab's responses on Monday varied from "I was not there", "I don't know" (Main udhar nahin tha, mujhe nahin maloom) to "The deposition given by the witnesses is false" (Saare log ghalat keh rahe hain)".
At times, his expression would change to one of anger while saying "I don't know".
As is the routine with Kasab, he rejected all the instances that tried to prove that he was present at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, near the foot overbridge, near the Times of India building, inside or outside Cama Hospital, near the Rang Bhavan lane and near Mantralaya.
The lone captured terrorist is trying desperately to wriggle out a case built tightly by the prosecution, led by Special Public Prosecution Ujjwal Nikam.
Judge M L Tahiliyani is recording the statements of the accused no.1, Ajmal Kasab, under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Though the statement recorded under Section 313 of CrPC has no evidential value, it is the part of the legal process. This provision doesn't give the chance to an accused to feign ignorance about the trial at a later stage.
In yet another incident that seems to indicate that Kasab was trained by his Pakistani masterminds to face such a situation, Kasab denied that the clothes exhibited in the courtroom doesn't belong to him, but the blood-stains on the clothes were his.
"The clothes won't fit me, I am sure," he told the court, even before they were showed to him.
He also said that the shoes that were showed to him by the court were not his, as 'they were too small.' Before commenting, he examined the shoes carefully.
He went on to add that he was seeing the AK-47 assault rifle for the first time. "Mai isko pehli baar dekh raha hoon, I am seeing this for the first time)" he said, pointing towards the AK-47.
He told the court that he was taken to the Nair Hospital at around 11:15 pm of November 26, 2008, where he was interrogated (He referred to the video clip shown on all television channels where he was admitting to his guilt) and released subsequently on November 27, 2008.
He also denied that Dr Venkat Ramamurthy treated him for six wounds. "I had only three injuries on my hands and shoulders," he said.
PTI adds: Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab on Monday denied in the special court that he shot police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salasakar on the night of 26/11, claiming he was not present at the site.
"There is no question of me shooting at them as I was not present on the site," he told the special court.
After the attack, he was taken out by Crime Branch officers in a police vehicle, and was shown the sites, he said."They are the police, they need an accused. So they framed me," he said.