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Now in custody: Face of Mumbai's terror

November 29, 2008

They may have come prepared for raining death and havoc on innocents, but the sole terrorist arrested in the audacious terror strike on Mumbai is not so sure he himself wanted to die, says the tabloid Mumbai Mirror.

His photograph was the one that was flashed by all the media on Thursday, of a young man clad in a Versace t-shirt and cargo pants, a haversack on his back, holding an Ak-56 rifle and walking across Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus [Images], firing indiscriminately.

Mumbai Mirror quotes the Anti Terrorist Squad confirming that this is the terrorist who is currently in custody.

On Wednesday night, this terrorist spewed bullets in CST station and killing a large number of innocents, before moving to Metro cinema junction nearby, and from there towards Girgaum Chowpatty [Images] where in an encounter he shot dead inspector Tukaram Umbale from the Gamdevi police station.

Another Mumbai tabloid, Mid-Day, says this terrorist was the one who shot ATS chief Hemant Karkare [Images], encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte outside CST station, and quotes Mumbai Commissioner Hasan Gafoor to confirm this.

From here the terrorist escaped in Salaskar's own vehicle towards Metro cinema and finally towards Girgaum Chowpatty in a stolen Skoda car where, while his co-terrorist was shot down, he was captured.

Mumbai Mirror describes the terrorist in custody as being around 21 years old, speaking fluent English, and hailing from Gipalpura in Faridkot in Pakistan.

The newspaper says this terrorist, after being shot in the hand, pretended to be dead but was found out on the way to hospital and was promptly arrested.

He was initially tight-lipped but cracked up on seeing the mutilated body of the other terrorist and cried out, 'I do not want to die, please put me on saline.'

Ammunition, a satellite phone and a layout plan of CST station were recovered from the terrorist, who is said to be singing like a canary in custody.

According to the tabloid, the chief of the terrorist operation had come to Mumbai a month ago, took photographs of the various sites, filmed strategic locations apart from training the group to 'kill till the last breath'. Each terrorist was given 6-7 magazines with 50 bullets, eight hand grenades an AK-57, automatic loading revolver and a supply of dry fruits.

The terrorist told his interrogators that the group had left Karachi in one boat and on reaching Gujarat hoisted a white flag. On interception by the Coast Guard near Porbandar and being questioned by its two officers, they managed to kill one of them and overpowering the other, forcing him to take them till Mumbai. A few nautical miles away, there were three speedboats waiting for them, which they took to reach the Colaba coast after killing the other Coast Guard officer as well.

On landing the 10 men broke up into groups. Four went to the Taj Mahal hotel [Images], two to Trident, two towards Nariman House, and two towards CST station -- one of them being the captured terrorist.

He is currently kept in an undisclosed location where the police interrogation has been so intense that he went back on what he told the hospital authorities. 'Now I don't want to live,' the newspaper reports him as saying.

Complete coverage: War on Mumbai

Photo courtesy: Sebastian D'souza/Mumbai Mirror

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