Prosecution falters again, warrants against only 22

The prosecution faltered again in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case when it could not define the roles of five accused against whom it sought non-bailable warrants. The special court on Tuesday issued warrants against 22, including prime accused Saeed Hafiz, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah, of the 27 against whom warrants were sought.

The prosecution also admitted that it does not have the full names and addresses of eight accused of the 35 listed in the chargesheet. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said, "Of the 35 wanted accused, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has full names and addresses of only 27, and we won't be pressing for warrants against the remaining eight."

The eight include Hakim Saab, Yusuf, Mursheed, Aakib, Usman, Major General Sahab name not known, Kharak Singh and Hakim Sahe.

Nikam had on Monday moved a plea to issue non-bailable warrants against 27 accused. However, on Tuesday he could not specify the roles of five accused Abu Annes, Abu Bashir, Abu Shariya, Abu Safi-ur-Rehman and Abu Imran. Special Judge M L Tahaliyani, while disposing of the petition, noted that the prosecution could not state the role of five accused, and thus it is proper to issue warrants only against 22. The court also observed that the prosecution will have to move a fresh application if it obtains their details at a later stage.

Nikam said the roles of most of the wanted accused have been derived from the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone arrested terrorist. The prosecution had earlier also moved a petition for non-bailable warrants against the 35 accused named in the chargesheet. The court had asked for their full names and addresses.

The prosecution also examined four witnesses, all police officers attached to the CST railway police station, on Tuesday. These officers, Baldev Bhujbal, Balkrishnan Mane, Ankush Ganjure and Dilip Mane, had conducted the inquest panchnama on the bodies at the railway station.

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