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My confession was under duress, says Kasab

By Prasanna D Zore
Last updated on: December 22, 2009 19:41 IST
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Another day, another story. The Ajmal Kasab flip-flop continued in a Mumbai court where the lone surviving terrorist in the 26/11 attack said whatever he confessed -- regarding his terror role -- was under duress. (Read what he said yesterday)

A clean-shaven Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, on Tuesday retracted all that he had said in his statement to Metropolitan Magistrate between December 17 to Decmeber 21, 2008.

Kasab said that he has never been to a terror training camp and met with Hafiz Saeed (wanted no.1 and Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief), Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (wanted no. 2 and LeT commander) Abu al Qama (wanted no. 3), Muzzamil (wanted no. 5) and Abu Umar Sayed (wanted no. 18) and the camp in Muridke.

"I have never stated before the magistrate that I ever met these people," he said, and went on to add that he worked as a cook at a guest-house called 'Saraahe Alamgir' in Pakistan Punjab, near Jhelum.

He also retracted from the statement recorded before the magistrate that he was born on September 13, 1987, or he was 'sent to India for waging a 'holy war' for freeing Kashmir from India, at the behest of the above mentioned people.'

" I was tutored by the police to say whatever is written in the statement I gave to the magistrate," Kasab said.

He also said that he has complained to the magistrate about the pressure from the police to admit guilt in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

"However, my plea with the magistrate did not bear any fruit," he said.

As a result, he did not talk about it when he met the Magistrate on December 18, 20, 21, 2008, he said.

"The statement recorded by the magistrate is absolutely false and my signatures on it were taken by cheating me, " he went on to add.

"I was forced to give my confessional statement to the metropolitan magistrate," Kasab on Tuesday told judge M L Tahaliyani while recording statements under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.  

"Mere saath dhokha kiya gaya hai (I was cheated by the police)," he said.

Kasab said he was given a small chit in which he indicated that he was threatened with electric shocks by the Crime Branch sleuths.

However, Kasab told the judge that due procedure was followed by the magistrate while recording his statement.

Asked what happened to the chit, Kasab said, "No idea."

Kasab spoke with conviction while explaining to the judge about how the police officer conducting the identification parade tutored the witnesses to identify him. 

One of the witnesses, he said, identified him as the person who was in Taj at the same day.

"I don't know why that person was not called as a witness in the court", Kasab said.

"Mera humshakal Taj me tha (My look-alike was at the Taj)," he said.
Kasab also told the judge he stated before the magistrate that his statements should be taken at the Arthur Road jail and not at the Crime Branch office.

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Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai