New Delhi: May 3, 2010, Monday is the judgment Day of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive for the attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
Fate of the sole gunman of the horrific 26/11 Mumbai carnage, Kasab is all set to be sealed by the special sessions judge. The court will also pronounce judgments against Kasab's co-accused - Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed.
“Collection of evidence was very difficult. The conspiracy was hatched abroad. All these boys accused were trained abroad so, we only had Kasab, the only link to the conspiracy and various aspects of the case which were all abroad. So, we had to interrogate Kasab, had to glean out the truth from him, “ said ATS Chief Rakesh Maria.
The herculean task of interrogation, investigation and collecting evidence began with the arrest of this 21-year-old fidayeen even as security forces were battling his terrorist friends at multiple locations
In February 25, 2009, the Mumbai crime branch filed the mammoth chargesheet running into more than 11,000 pages. The chargesheet contained 2000 witness statements and named 35 Pakistani nationals as wanted accused.
In May 6 2009, the special sessions court framed 86 charges against Kasab and his co accused. A day later, the first witness testified before the court.
Over the next seven months the court examined 658 witnesses, including some FBI agents.
In June 2009, the special court issued non-bailable warrants against 22 absconding including Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
In March 9, prosecution began the final arguments and concluded them on March 23, 2010 by submitting 657 pages of written argument to the court. Evidence of CCTV footage, telephonic intercepts, forensic and scientific reports were also submitted.
"We have deduced full and overwhelming evidence in the trial not only to establish the guilt of Kasab, but also to establish the whole mammoth of the trial. And just to establish the fact that how from Pakistan certain people were assisted and activated and also aided these terrorists, " said Advocate Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.
Throughout the trial, Kasab changed his statements several times. In February 21, 2009, Kasab voluntarily confessed before the magistrate, only to retract it days later. In May 6, Kasab pleaded not guilty to all the 86 charges.
In July 20, 2009, Kasab retracted his not guilty plea and gave chilling details of the preparation, training, planning and execution of the 26/11 terror attacks.
In December 2009, Kasab took another u-turn and claimed innocence. Kasab claimed he came to India via Samjhauta express, and was roaming around Juhu chowpatty when police picked him up.
The verdict will finally bring a closure to the proceedings and much awaited justice to the victims of 26/11 Mumbai carnage.