The deposition of two key Indian witnesses in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case before an eight-member Pakistani Judicial Commission is underway in a local court on Wednesday amidst tight security.
The Commission is in Mumbai to cross examine Indian witnesses in order to carry forward prosecution of seven LeT suspects, including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi held in Pakistan for their role in 26/11 terror attacks.
Two doctors, who had conducted the post-mortem of 9 Pakistani terrorists killed by armed forces in the 26/11 terror attacks, had on Tuesday deposed in the court giving their account of the autopsy reports. However, they were not cross-examined by the panel.
The evidence of the two Indian witnesses is being recorded by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P Y Ladekar.
The witnesses are Magistrate R.V. Sawant-Waghule, who had recorded the confession of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Investigating officer Ramesh Mahale. These witnesses are likely to be cross examined by the panel members today, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who represents the Indian government, told PTI.
This is the second visit of the Commission. During its first visit in March 2013, the panel had examined the same four witnesses. However, cross examination was not allowed by India.
A Pakistani court refused to accept evidence as cross examination was not allowed. Subsequently, India and Pakistan agreed to allow cross examination of the witnesses.
On Wednesday, the Commission would also inspect the mobile phones, Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments and the dinghy used by 10 Pakistani terrorists to reach India by sea route. They had come by a boat from Karachi and on approaching the Mumbai coast, used dinghy to reach the shores.
These articles, which are kept in Arthur Road jail, will be produced in the court today for inspection. The Indian government had claimed that these articles were purchased by terrorists in Pakistan before coming here for terror attack.
Police are keeping a strict vigil in and around the court. A thick security cover has been placed around the court. A dog squad was also pressed into service, police sources said.
The Commission was slated to come earlier to India, but its visit was postponed due to the murder of special public prosecutor in Pakistan.
The Commission includes two officers from anti-terror court of Pakistan, four defence lawyers and two special public prosecutors.
Ten Pakistani terrorists had arrived by sea route on November 26, 2008, and opened fire indiscriminately in public places killing 166 people and injuring over 300 others besides damaging property worth crores of rupees.
According to police, the conspiracy was hatched by LeT to create terror attacks in India.
While nine terrorists were shot dead by armed forces one, who was identified as Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was caught alive. Later he was tried and sent to gallows by a special court in Mumbai.