Tracing the terror route

On November 26, the last phone call made by 55-year-old Laxminarayan Goel to his family in Hyderabad was to inform them that he had missed the 9:50 pm Hussain Sagar Express, and that he would try to catch the same train the next day. Goel took a cab from the taxi stand outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), while still speaking to his family on the cellphone.

Minutes before, terrorists Ajmal Ameer Kasab and Abu Ismail Khan had alighted from their cab ride from Badhwar Park at the same spot from where Goel took the cab. The First Information Report registered by the CST railway police states that at around 9:50 pm the terrorists were seen walking with their backpacks towards the public urinal at the extreme right corner inside the mainline terminus. They came out after a few minutes with AK-47s in their hands. The police have recorded the time of firing as around 9:50 pm.

An hour later, Goel's burnt and badly mutilated body was brought to Cooper Hospital after the taxi he was travelling in exploded at around 10:40 pm at Vile Parle. The taxi MH 01 G 779 that was ripped into pieces was registered in the name of Abdul Rahim Abubakar, who was picked up for questioning but was later given a clean chit. Investigations and forensic reports, as well as Kasab's interrogation, have established that Goel had taken the same cab that Kasab and Khan had alighted from.

"They kept the bomb under the front seat of the taxi. This later killed the driver, Mohammad Umer Abdul Khalid, and Goel at around 10:40 pm," said an investigating officer.

The probe into the Wadi Bunder taxi MH 01 J 5308 has recorded the time of the blast between 10:20 pm and 10:25 pm, with the cab having travelled from south Mumbai to Wadi Bunder through P D'mello Road. The terrorists who attacked Leopold's Cafe and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel had taken this cab from Badhwar towards Colaba, leaving a timer bomb beneath the front seat before getting off.

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