Staff Reporter

MUMBAI: In a chilling revelation in the Mumbai terror attack case, a witness described the brutal murder of captain of trawler Kuber, Amarsinh Solanki, as told by Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab.’

Panch witness Bhavesh Takalkar was present, when Ajmal gave his first account to the police on November 27.

Deposing before the special sessions court, Mr. Takalkar said that when the 10 terrorists, including Ajmal, hijacked Kuber, they blindfolded Solanki and tied his hands at the back before slitting his throat and cutting the nape from end to end.

Kuber was located later in the day on November 27, after a search conducted by the Coast Guard. Mr. Takalkar, who was also the panch witness for Kuber, listed the items found on it. It was Ajmal who took the police to the engine room and showed them Solanki’s body.

The body bore many abrasions, Mr. Takalkar said. A satellite phone, a Global Positioning System (GPS) set and a notepad were recovered.

Commandant Prabhadeep Malhotra of the Coast Guard testified that the boat was located six nautical miles off Mumbai. He had received a message from the Regional Operations and Planning Officer to look for an abandoned boat.Kuber raised suspicion as it looked different from the other fishing trawlers. Moreover, the letters, PBR, in its registration number indicated that the boat belonged to Porbander.

No addition

The motive of capturing Kashmir will not be included in the final charges. The prosecution moved an application before the court last week, asking for the addition.

Judge M.L. Tahaliyani said the court had taken into account all the submissions made by the prosecution, including the statements in Ajmal’s confession. So, it was not necessary to add further details to the final charges.

Mr. Tahaliyani said the charges of conspiracy and waging war against the government of India were part of the charges. All the accused had been given a copy of the charge sheet and other documents constituting the prosecutions case, and a copy of Ajmal’s confession, in which Kashmir found a mention. The charges and the case were explained to the accused so that there would be no room for them to feel that any prejudice might be caused to them.

Referring to a Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Tahaliyani said the accused were entitled to knowing the offence and the particulars of the law.

The prosecution agreed with this explanation and did not press the matter.

Mr. Tahaliyani sought to clear the confusion created by the defence contention that the Indian Penal Code (IPC) excluded Jammu and Kashmir from its definition of India. The judge noted that this argument by advocate Shahid Azmi was malicious.

Referring to Article 1 (First Schedule) of the Constitution, Mr. Tahaliyani said there should be no doubt that Jammu and Kashmir was part of India.

The Supreme Court too, in one of its cases, relied on Article 1 to define the Indian territory. Furthermore, the judge said, Mr. Azmi’s argument that the term, government of India, was repealed from the IPC was fallacious. Section 17 clearly defines government as the Central government or the government of a State.