A witness in the 26/11 trial on Tuesday described to the special court the two terrorists who had alighted from a taxi at Café Leopold on the fateful day. Witness Wasim Sheikh had boarded the same taxi after gunmen Abu Shoaib and Abu Umer got off it.
The terrorists handed over a Rs 100 note to the cabbie when the fare was just Rs 13 and did not bother to collect the change, Sheikh told the court.
According to Sheikh,both the passengers had a backpack each and one of them was also carrying a handbag. Sheikh took the same taxi to Wadi Bunder where he was supposed to meet a friend. Later,when Sheikh alighted,the taxi was hired by two Muslim women,Zarina and Rima. The taxi exploded at Mazegaon and the women and the driver died at the spot.
On 26/11,I had gone for a walk at the Gateway of India and was returning home near J J Hospital after having dinner at a stall behind Hotel Taj. A taxi came and I saw two people alighting from the back seat. I immediately called for the taxi and sat in the front seat while the two men got off, Sheikh said.
Sheikh told the court that on November 27,a day after the attacks,he saw television reports about the taxi blast and approached the Byculla police who recorded his statement.
According to the prosecution,the terrorists had boarded the taxi from Budhwar Park and alighted at Café Leopold after planting a bomb fitted with a timer below the drivers seat.
The prosecution also examined another witness Sunil Jadhav,an employee of Hotel Taj Mahal Palace,who was taken hostage by the terrorists. Jadhav had later escaped with three other hostages from the fifth floor using a rope made of bedsheets and curtains. The prosecution has so far examined 225 witnesses in the case.