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‘Hijacked’ Kuber set to sail for Porbandar after three months

The ill-fated Kuber,allegedly hijacked by perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks,is all set to embark on its return journey almost three months after it left Porbandar for fishing in the high seas.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot |
February 18, 2009 2:40:03 am

The ill-fated Kuber,allegedly hijacked by perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks,is all set to embark on its return journey almost three months after it left Porbandar for fishing in the high seas.

The Mumbai court has granted permission to the boat’s Porbandar-based owner,Vinod Masani,to take it back upon the condition that it is not sold till investigations are on.

On Tuesday,sources close to Masani confirmed that barring some Customs Department formalities,the boat is set to make its journey back home.

“Kuber may start sailing for Porbandar by Tuesday evening. It is expected at Porbandar on Wednesday,” said a source close to Masani.

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For the Masanis,it is like the end of a three-month long ordeal. At one point even their role had come under the scanner and questions were raised about their possible nexus with the terrorists. Vinod Masani was also questioned by various investigating agencies at Porbandar and Mumbai.

A relative of Vinod Masani said: “The fact that we are getting back the boat means we are finally getting the clean chit. For days we were unaware about the boat’s whereabouts. But gradually things are getting normal.”

Amarsinh Solanki,the tandel (captain) of Kuber from Diu,was found beheaded on the boat. The bodies of the other four crew members were never found.

According to reports,Ajmal Kasab,the lone surviving terrorist,in his statement to the Mumbai police,had said that the other crewmembers were killed mid-sea soon after the boat was hijacked by a LeT vessel.

A GPS system and some food items,reportedly used by the 10 terrorists,who had sailed from Karachi,were found on Kuber.

The boat also played an important role in presenting evidence to the Pakistan government. Kasab’s DNA was matched with that found on Kuber,which helped establish the terrorists’ link to this boat.

The Masanis,among the well-off from Porbandar,are also the owners of five other boats.

The Customs and the Fisheries Department,had between themselves,grounded two other boats,Maa and Sana,while investigations were still on.

Kuber,along with Maa,had set off for the high seas on November 14,2008 from the Porbandar coast. The boats sailed together for a week,before Kuber disappeared.

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