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Afreen died in my lap …Kasab is unmoved

Afreen died in my lap …Kasab is unmoved

Publication: The Free Press Journal
Date: June 12, 2009

For the second day in succes- sion, a witness, a homemaker, broke down in the court of Judge M L Tahaliyani while testifying against Pakistani gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab.

Nafisa Qureshi identified Kasab as the barbarian who had indiscriminately fired at commuters at CST on the night of 26/11. While Nafisa was hit in the left leg, her six-year-old daughter, who also sustained bullet injuries, died in her lap Qureshi recounted amid sobs, "Meri beti Afreen mere godh mein tadap rahi thi, khoon beh raha tha. Phir usne dum toda aur mein behosh ho gayi." (My daughter 'Afreen' was writhing with pain in my lap.

She was bleeding and then she died. I lost consciousness).

Asked if she could identify the gunmen, she pointed at ar- rested Ksab and said, "He was one of them." However, Kasab did not react.

In fact, Kasab stood in the dock without showing any signs of remorse, as several witnesses identified him by turns Apart from Qureshi, three others, a Home Guard and a RPF head constable and a railway employee also deposed before the court and identified Kasab. Qureshi said she was traveling to Aurangabad with her husband and daughter on November 26; owing to rescheduling of trains, they were sitting in the waiting hall.

Her husband had stepped out to bring some eatables while she was waited with her daughter. "Suddenly at 2130 hours I heard a loud explosion. I saw two persons firing in all directions," she said.

"My daughter was hit by bullets in the back while I sustained bullet injuries in the left leg.The next moment my daughter died and I fell unconscious," she said, adding that she regained consciousness three days later in a hospital.

During cross-examination, when defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi asked Qureshi for details about the terror strike, she said, "Sahab ek baat suno Meri aulaad chali gayi, uska kya? (Sir, I have only one thing to say. My child died. What about her?) Asked by Kazmi if she had identified Kasab under police pressure, Qureshi said, "Main jhoot kyon bolungi? Agar aapki beti mari hoti toh aap aise hi poochte? Meri beti gayi hai, main jhoot kyon bolun? (Why would I lie? Would you have asked such questions had your daughter died?) RPF head constable Jhillu Yadav said he was posted at CST on night of the incident when he heard sounds of firing and saw people rushing out of the station. He ran from a passage into the waiting hall and saw one person, later identified as slain gunman Abu Ismail, sitting on the ground loading his rifle.

''There was a police booth nearby and I saw a policeman with a rifle. I told him to fire at the person. When he did not, I snatched his rifle and tried to fire at the man loading the gun but could not as the (rifle) had jammed," he said. At that time another gunman joined the person loading the rifle and they fired at me but I took shelter behind a pillar, Yadav said.

When asked by the court, the head constable identified Kasab as the individual who had joined Ismail.

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