26/11 Mumbai attacks: Pakistan govt challenges rejection of plea to examine boat used by LeT

Islamabad: Pakistan government on Monday challenged in the Islamabad High Court the rejection of the 2008 Mumbai attack case prosecution’s plea by the trial court to form a commission to examine the boat used by LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.

“We have challenged the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad’s decision to reject our plea regarding formation of a commission to examine the boat – Al-Fauz – used by alleged terrorists of Mumbai attacks in the Islamabad High Court,” Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI.

He said the court office would fix the date of hearing.

According to the petition, the boat should be made “case property”.

“A government commission should be formed to examine the boat which is in custody of the authorities in port city of Karachi is an essential part of evidence against the seven accused” against whom the trial is underway, it says.

The ATC on January 13 had dismissed the plea of the prosecution to form a commission to examine the boat.

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 10 militants – armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades – used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from the port city of Karachi to carry out the attack in 2008.

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 vessel’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 during the attacks, while the lone survivor identified as Ajmal Kasab was executed in India in November, 2012.

Pakistani authorities have arrested seven LeT members involved with the planning of the attack including the terrorist group’s operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, said to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attack.

The other arrested LeT men are Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jamil, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum.

Lakhvi, 55, has been on bail since last April and is enjoying his freedom at an undisclosed location.