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Cop contradicts Kasab on firing outside hospital

A Mumbai Police naik’s deposition on Monday,on the sequence of events outside Cama & Albless Hospital leading to the killing of top police officers on 26/11...

Written by Esha Roy | Mumbai |
July 28, 2009 12:31:54 am

A Mumbai Police naik’s deposition on Monday,on the sequence of events outside Cama & Albless Hospital leading to the killing of top police officers on 26/11,revealed discrepancies between the statement by accused Ajmal Amir Kasab and the prosecution’s version of events.

Also,as witness Suresh Shantaram Kadam described watching Kasab and his accomplice (now dead) enter the Rang Bhavan lane after emerging from Cama Hospital,special judge M L Tahaliyani said he was “really distressed” that an earlier police witness,senior inspector Yashwant Thoravade,had not mentioned having seen the two terrorists shoot a police officer on Mahapalika Marg before proceeding into Rang Bhavan lane,where Joint Commissioner of Police (ATS) Hemant Karkare,Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were later killed.

Kadam,40,said he was standing along with two other policemen,each armed with a revolver or pistol,when a police Qualis emerged from the Rang Bhavan lane,with Kasab’s accomplice Abu Ismail at the wheel,firing from his automatic weapon even as he drove. While Kasab in his statement has said there was firing in their direction as they drove the Qualis out of the lane after the killing of the police officers,Kadam said during cross-examination that his team did not fire at the vehicle. They had,however,fired in the direction of the terrorists before the duo walked into the lane after emerging from a 45-minute encounter inside Cama Hospital,he said.

Having met Additional Commissioner of Police Sadanand Date and his team at the Metro Cinema junction,Kadam and others were instructed to return to Azad Maidan police station for bulletproof jackets. On return,they stationed themselves on Mahapalika Marg,some distance from the gate of Cama Hospital. Among those in the police Bolero was Thoravade,the witness said.

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Judge Tahaliyani took on record that Thoravade had not mentioned having been in this vehicle during his deposition a few days ago.

“Around 11.45 pm,we saw two persons coming out of Cama Hospital,” Kadam said. A policeman riding pillion on a motorcycle then alighted outside St Xavier’s College and was seen motioning to the two men to return towards CT,he said. “When they were 15-20 feet away,the two fired at him. We fired in their direction. I fired one round from my pistol,” said Kadam. “They fired back at us.”

According to Kadam,the two then shot at a white car with a red beacon emerging from the Rang Bhavan lane (Badruddin Tyebji Marg) and lobbed a hand grenade,too,before walking into the lane.

While three policemen took away their fallen colleague from across the road — police sub-inspector B Durgude,who died — Kadam and two others stayed and later saw the gunmen drive past the policemen in the Qualis,Kadam said.

Notes from The courtroom
Kazmi ticked off

Defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi asked Kadam how his team could have continued firing at the two gunmen before they walked into the Rang Bhavan Lane. Judge M L Tahaliyani stepped in and told Kazmi not to overstep his brief and concentrate on defending his client. When Kazmi persisted that he was attempting to “demolish” the witness and his testimony,the judge shot back: “You are not appointed as an advocate of a commission of inquiry.”

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