The Pakistani anti-terrorism court hearing the 2008 Mumbai attack case today reserved its verdict on the prosecution’s plea to form a commission to examine the boat used by the 10 LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.
The prosecution, in the last hearing on December 23, had filed an application in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad, seeking formation of a commission to examine the boat ‘Al-Fauz’ used by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists so that the boat could be made “case property”.
“Today the ATC held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. Both prosecution and defence presented arguments on the matter and the court reserved its verdict,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.
“The court may announce its verdict before the next hearing,” he said.
The court adjourned the hearing till January 13.
Al-Fauz is in the custody of the Pakistani authorities in the port city of Karachi, from where the 10 militants, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, had left for India to carry out the Mumbai attack in 2008.
According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the attackers used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from Karachi.
It said the security agencies had also traced the shop and its owner from where the culprits bought the engine and the boat while a bank and a money exchange company were also traced which were used for the transaction of money.
The 10 LeT militants had left Karachi on the boat on November 23, 2008. En route, they hijacked another boat, killing four of its crew. They allegedly forced the vessels’s captain to take them close to the India shores. The captain was killed when the vessel reached Mumbai’s coast.
On November 26 that year, the gunmen left their vessel, moored off the coast of Mumbai in inflatable boats and docked in an area of fishing shanties. They broke up into smaller groups to carry out the attack that killed 166 people.
Nine of the gunmen were killed by Indian security officials during the attack and the lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab was executed by India in November, 2012.
Pakistani authorities have arrested seven LeT members involved with the planning of the attacks including the terrorist group’s operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, said to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.
Other arrested LeT men are Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jamil, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.
A trial is underway against them at the ATC since 2009.
Lakhvi, 55, secured bail in December last year and was subsequently released from Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the government’s order to detain him under a public security act.