Former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria has claimed that had Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab not been caught alive, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack would have been dubbed as the handiwork of "Hindu" terrorists.
Kasab's body would have been found with an I-card bearing a fictitious Hindu name, Maria writes in his memoir Let Me Say It Now released recently.
In the 624-page book, Maria writes extensively about the investigation helmed by him in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
"If all had gone well, he (Kasab) would have been dead with a red string tied around his wrist like a Hindu. We would have found an identity card on his person with a fictitious name: Samir Dinesh Chaudhari, student of Arunodaya Degree and P.G. College, Vedre Complex, Dilkhushnagar, Hyderabad, 500060, resident of 254, Teachers Colony, Nagarabhavi, Bengaluru," Maria writes.
"Ramesh Mahale, Prashant Marde and Dinesh Kadam would have been on their way to Hyderabad to find more about him. There would have been screaming headlines in newspapers claiming how Hindu terrorists had attacked Mumbai. Over-the-top TV journalists would have made a beeline for Bengaluru to interview his family and neighbours," he wrote.
Mahale, Marde and Kadam were senior police officers involved in 26/11 attack investigation.
"But alas, it had not worked that way and here he was, Ajmal Amir Kasab of Faridkot in Pakistan, and I was asking him, Ki karan aya hai? (What are you here for?)," the former IPS officer wrote.
Maria's book also mentions that Pakistan's ISI and the Lashkar-e-Taiba were ISI and the Lashkar were bent upon killing Kasab by "hook or by crook" after he was caught alive by ASI Tukaram Ombale.
"As the Joint CP in charge of the Crime Branch, Kasab was now my most esteemed guest. Keeping this enemy alive was my number one priority. Anger and hostility towards Kasab were perceptible. The way the men and officers were reacting to him, I had to personally choose his guards for the entire period he would be with us," Maria writes in the book.
"The ISI and the Lashkar were bent upon eliminating him by hook or by crook to obliterate the only living evidence of their heinous deed. We had received a letter from the Government of India that Kasabs security was entirely the responsibility of the Mumbai police and within it, of the Crime Branch.
"Specific Intelligence inputs had been received from Central Intelligence agencies that Pakistan was intent on killing Kasab and the Dawood Ibrahim gang had been entrusted with the task. The reputation of the Mumbai police, not just my job, was at stake if anything were to happen to him," Maria wrote.
Maria writes that Kasab felt Muslims were not allowed to offer namaaz in India.
"He seriously believed that Muslims were not allowed to offer namaaz in India and mosques were locked up by the authorities. He felt that the azaan he heard five times a day in the Crime Branch lock-up was just a figment of his imagination.
"When we came to know of this, I instructed Mahale to take him to the mosque near the Metro Cinema in a vehicle. When he saw the namaaz in progress with his own eyes, he was bewildered. This was not how it was supposed to be!" Maria writes in the book.
In one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in the country's history, 166 people were killed and over 300 injured as 10 heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive, was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.