New Delhi (NVI): When one remembers the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008, the photo of a youngster holding an AK rifle and carrying a bag pack comes to mind. What stood out in that photo was the red saffron thread, commonly known as ‘movli’, tied on his right forearm.
Had he not been caught alive by brave Head Constable of Mumbai police Tukaram Omble, the deadly terrorist would have been identified as Samir Dinesh Chaudari, a student hailing from Bengaluru, and the attack would have been described as “Hindu terrorism”.
However, the arrest revealed his real identity as Ajmal Kasab of Pakistan and exposed Pakistan’s design to mislead the investigations and thus divert attention from it.
So, who was Ajmal Kasab? He was the son of Amir Kasai and Mainur Fatima and hailed from Faridkot village in Pakistan. And months ahead of the Mumbai attacks, the terrorist had told his family that he was going to India to “conquer Kashmir”.
More light on his background has been shed by prominent Pakistani journalist Syeda Maimanat Mohsin, popularly known as Jugnu Mohsin.
According to Mohsin, her father runs schools in the area from where Ajmal Kasab hailed.
“The day it (terror attacks in Mumbai) happened, I sent workers of our school to the area to check out. Even kids there know who Amir Kasai is, who Mainur Fatima is, who Ajmal Kasab is. They had themselves told everyone there that he (Ajmal) was taken away 3-4 years back. Six months back (prior to the Mumbai attacks), he (Ajmal) came back hom and told his mother ‘keep your hand on my head, I am going to conquer Kashmir. He gave some money to mother and told her to get sister Rukaya married. These things are publicly known in Faridkot,” Mohsin said in a programme on Pakistani news channel.
“After that (attack), the family vanished from there. They are poor people. Who took them away from there? … You can’t hide these things,” she added.
It is clear that the Pakistani authorities removed Ajmal’s family from the scene in a bid to prevent the outside world have evidence about their involvement in the heinous crime.
Had Ajmal died, all the terrorists would have been portrayed as “Hindu terrorists” as all of them were wearing the red saffron thread.
Rakesh Maria, former top cop of Mumbai, has written in his book that Pakistan had given Ajmal the identity of ‘Samir Dinesh Chaudhari’, a native of Bengaluru.
David Headley alias Dawood Gilani, a Pakistani-American member of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit who had conducted reconnaissance for the Mumbai attacks, had also revealed that he had got the red saffron threads from India and passed these on to the terrorists, with an intent of diverting the investigations.
Ajmal Kasab was among 10 terrorists who came from Pakistan via the Arabian Sea on this day in 2008 and attacked Mumbai at multiple places. The terrorists, armed with assault rifles and large quantity of ammunition and explosives, split into groups and wrecked havoc at crowded places and icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and Taj Hotel besides a Jewish centre.
The intent was to cause maximum casualties of Indians as well as foreign nationals, including the Israeli citizens.
The terror attacks lasted for 60 hours, leaving 166 people dead and the country outraged. The Indian security forces eliminated 9 terrorists while Ajmal was caught alive.
Subsequent investigations and revelations made by Ajmal showed that the attacks were masterminded in Pakistan by its notorious intelligence agency ISI and executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit after months of planning.
In fact, the handlers sitting in Pakistan were in continuous touch with the terrorists who struck in Mumbai and were even guiding them, while watching live coverage on Indian news channels.
Mounds of evidence were available and provided to Pakistan to act against the masterminds but 12 years later, none has been punished. Rather, terrorists, with the active support of Pakistani establishment, continue to plan and undertake attacks in India.
The US, whose nationals were among the terror victims in Mumbai, also did not do enough to pressurize Pakistan to act against the masterminds of the heinous act. It only made a symbolic announcement of 10 million USD on capture of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed but there was no follow up as the terror mastermind remained a free bird.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while paying tributes to the victims of the terror attacks, said today that “India can’t forget those wounds.”