Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has made explosive revelations on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He made the sensational claims in his book "Let Me Say It Now". These include revelations on the date of the Mumbai attacks, Kasab's identity, a "Hindu terror plot", Dawood Ibrahim and more. Here's a tell-all.
Date of Mumbai attacks
Rakesh Maria, in his book, said that the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that took place on 26/11 were originally planned for September 27 that year, which was the 27th day of Ramadan fasting. But it was postponed to finally happen after two months -- November 26.
Kasab's Hindu identity
Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, who was the only one to be nabbed alive, was supposed to have a Hindu identity. The LeT wanted him to be killed as a Bengaluru resident "Samir Dinesh Chaudhari", with a red thread tied around his wrist to portray the attack as a case of Hindu terror. However, the plan did not work out and the police nabbed Kasab, who was from Faridkot in Pakistan.
Dawood was supposed to kill Kasab
Making another sensational claim, Rakesh Maria also said that the fugitive don, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar -- a wanted accused in the March 1993 Mumbai serial attacks -- had ironically been assigned the task of killing Kasab with the help of LeT and Pakistan's ISI. This would ostensibly erase the only living evidence of their heinous act. Both the cases (1993 and 2008) were investigated by the former Mumbai ex-top cop. Accordingly, Maria said it became his "first priority" to ensure Kasab's safety, particularly in view of perceptible anger and hostility among the Mumbai Police personnel, besides the external threats.
The Mumbai policemen's angst stemmed from the fact that around 16 Mumbai Police personnel, besides at least two NSG commandos were killed in the 60-hour terror operation at 11 locations in barely a five-square km area of south Mumbai in 2008, plus the 150 civilian casualties including around 26 foreigners.
Fraud ICard planned for Kasab
Citing earlier reports that the 26/11 attackers carried fake identity cards of Hyderabad's Arunodaya College, he said that similar fraudulent ICard was planned even for Kasab.
Kasab joined LeT to improve financial well being
Kasab and his friend Muzaffar Lal Khan had joined LeT for robberies to improve their financial well being, get weapons and training to achieve this, and had nothing to with 'jihad' (holy crusade), Maria says in the book.
Kasab believed mosques were locked up in India
After Kasab's arrest, Maria who had interrogated him said he (Kasab) believed that Muslims were barred from offering 'namaaz' and mosques were locked up in India.
To clear his misconceptions, Maria instructed Ramesh Mahale, one of the investigating team members, to take him to a mosque near Metro Cinema in a vehicle.
Witnessing the 'namaaz' in progress with his eyes, Kasab was quite bewildered as he even considered the daily five times 'azaan' (call to prayer for the Muslim faithful) -- which he could hear in the police lockup -- as a figment of his imagination.
Kasab addressed Maria as 'janab'
During his several days of interrogation of Kasab after arrest, Maria said he acquired a deep insight into the psyche of terrorists' operations, and the daily interactions forged a sort of bond between them, with Kasab soon addressing him respectfully as 'Janab' (Sir).
Kasab, 25, underwent a full trial in Indian courts and was finally hanged secretly in Pune's Yerawada Central Jail on November 21, 2012 and buried at an unknown location.
(With IANS inputs)