Pak court rejects plea to examine boat used by 26/11 attackers

The Pakistani anti-terrorism court hearing the 2008 Mumbai attack case has rejected the prosecution’s plea to form a commission to examine the boat used by the 10 LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.

“The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad which held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi yesterday dismissed the plea of the prosecution seeking formation of a commission to examine the boat ‘Al-Fauz’ used by alleged terrorists of Mumbai attacks,” a court official told PTI today.

On its last hearing on January 6, the court had reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence lawyers over the matter.

The court also summoned four witnesses for next hearing on January 20, the official said.

The prosecution had filed the application seeking formation of a commission to examine the boat ‘Al-Fauz’ used by alleged terrorists of Mumbai attacks so that the vessel could be made “case property”.

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 alleged 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 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.

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.

A trial is underway against them at the ATC since 2009.

Lakhvi secured bail in December, 2014 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.