LeT attacked Mumbai to demand a separate Muslim state: Nikam
Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab and his companions were instructed by their Lashkar-e-Tayiba handlers on telephone to hold as many hostages as possible during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to demand from the Indian government the creation of a "separate state for Muslims".
This was stated on Friday by government counsel Ujjwal Nikam to the Bombay high court which is hearing confirmation of death sentence awarded to Kasab, who was captured alive after the terror attacks on the night of November 26-27, 2008.
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Image: Pigeons fly near the burning Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
'LeT advised 26/11 terrorists to take VIPs as hostages'
This is contained in the intercepts of telephonic conversations the handlers in Pakistan had with the terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, Nikam said.
Image: Special Prosecuter Ujjwal Nikam holds up a document at Arthur Road Jail where Kasab's trial was held
Photographs: Arko Dutta/Reuters
'Kasab, others were asked to hide their Pak identity'
He said LeT handlers had also advised the attackers to identify themselves as Indian Muslims belonging to the Indian Mujaheedin and hide that they had come from Pakistan.
"With this objective in mind, Kasab and his team mate Abu Ismael had headed towards Malabar Hill area, where VIPs such as high court judges, ministers and Governor reside, to hold VIPs as hostages to fulfill their demands," Nikam told Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More.
Image: Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving member of the 10-man group which attacked several Mumbai landmarks, is seen at an undisclosed location under police custody
'Kasab, Ismael headed to Malabar Hills to target VIPs'
Referring to Kasab's confession, Nikam said that slain terrorist Abu Ismael had the knowledge as to where and why they were going to Malabar Hill.
However, he told Kasab that he would disclose it only after reaching Malabar Hill.
Kasab did not appear on Friday on the screen for the video conference link put up in the court to hear the case.
Image: A member of the anti-terrorist squad runs in front of the burning Taj Mahal hotel during a gun battle in Mumbai
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters