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26/11 trial: blueprints of terror sites part of chargesheet

The chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch in the 26/11 terror attacks case contains,among other documents...

Accused privy to sensitive documents; Crime Branch submits evidence in court

The chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch in the 26/11 terror attacks case contains,among other documents,the blueprints of 11 scenes of offence,including the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels. Considering the seriousness of the case,the police had approached the Public Works Department (PWD),which released the blueprints to the police.

Curiously,since a copy of the chargesheet has been given to each of the three accused in the case — Ajmal Ameer Kasab,Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed — as is mandatory,the three alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives are now privy to the blueprints that are usually considered sensitive documents.

“In all serious offences,the police have to provide a layout of the scene of the crime in the chargesheet. This is done to explain the sequence of events and the movements of those involved in the offence. Normally,a police officer will himself make a rough drawing of the floor plan and other details of the layout,” said a police officer who did not wish to be named.

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“However,considering the seriousness of the offences registered during 26/11,the PWD was approached for the actual blueprints of the scenes of crime. These include blueprints of Taj Mahal Hotel,Oberoi Hotel,Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station and Nariman House. These are part of the chargesheet that has been handed over to the accused,” the officer said.

Meanwhile,in a bid to ensure that the 26/11 trial is completed within the shortest possible time,the Crime Branch is completing certain procedural formalities that are normally done only after charges are framed during a trial.

The Crime Branch on Thursday moved an application and submitted to the court the original CDs of the telephonic conversations between the 10 attackers and their Pakistan-based handlers that were intercepted in real time by the police. A few days earlier,it had also moved similar applications and submitted all the original documentation involved,such as post mortem reports,panchanamas,and the 12 first information reports (FIRs),as well as the sealed CDs of the CCTV footage captured at Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels,CST railway station and outside the Times of India building.

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“All original evidence is normally submitted to the court once the charges are framed. After this,if the police want certain evidence they move an application and then receive only copies of the originals,as do the accused. To save time for this entire process,the sealed evidence has already been submitted to the court,” a police source said.

First published on: 30-03-2009 at 01:35:29 am
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