Lone surviving 26/11 perpetrator Ajmal Kasab on Monday disputed the prosecution's submission that he and nine others had arrived in Mumbai on board the Kuber boat, claiming the vessel was found abandoned by the police a month before the terror attacks. "The front page of the station diary shows that this abandoned vessel was recovered by the police on October 27,2008, exactly a month before the terror attacks," Kasab's lawyer K P Pawar argued before Judge M L Tahaliyani.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, however, contended that if the entries in the station diary were read in a sequence it would be clear that the vessel was seized by police on November 27, 2008 and not a month earlier. Pawar refuted the prosecution's argument that Kasab had admitted to the police about their arrival in Mumbai by the Kuber. He submitted that the police story about recovery of Kuber at the instance of Kasab was totally false.
If this was true, then Additional Commissioner of Police S Jagannathan would have mentioned it in the station diary when he was asked by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria to locate Kuber after Kasab's disclosure, Pawar said in his final arguments.
"Nowhere in the station diary it is mentioned that Kuber was recovered at Kasab's instance," Pawar submitted. Pawar argued that ACP Jagannathan had not stated in the station diary that police had learnt from Kasab that Kuber had been abandoned by terrorists when they arrived in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Hence the 'panchnama' showing recovery of the body of Kuber's navigator Amarsinh Solanki in the engine room of the vessel was also false, Pawar submitted, rebutting the prosecution claim that Kasab had killed Solanki. Pawar argued Kasab and others could have thrown Solanki's body into the sea instead of dumping it in the engine room of Kuber.
However, Prosecutor Nikam contended that Kasab had told a magistrate that their handlers in Pakistan had told them to open the bottom valve of Kuber so that it would sink thereby destroying evidence, but they had to abandon it in a hurry and sail in a dinghy after spotting a naval vessel. Pawar argued that Kasab's confession before the Magistrate was in violation of section 164(2) CrPC in as much as the official had not ascertained whether the accused was making a true and voluntary disclosure.
Kasab was arrested on November 26, 2008 and after prolonged police custody he was produced before the magistrate on December 17, 2008. The records did not show that the magistrate had taken care to ensure that Kasab was not under police pressure to confess, he argued.