Remember the face of terror from Day 1, the one in the Versace t-shirt? He does not want to die.
Azam Amir Qasab, the 21-year-old terrorist who caused havoc at the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus killing many, on November 26, 2008, is the only terrorist to have been captured by the Mumbai police. Azam Amir Qasab has said, in a statement given at the DB Marg (Lamington Road) police station, that he was trained by the marine wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) in Pakistan for two years, and was asked to cause maximum casualties in Mumbai, and also blow up the Taj.
The first pictures of the Mumbai terror attacks showed Azam Amir Qasab walking outside the Mumbai CST station, holding what looked like an AK-47 and wearing a dark tee with ‘Versace’ lettering on it. His face was caught on a security camera. Later photos of Mumbai Mirror’s Sebastian D’Souza showed him casually gesturing (possibly to the other terrorist) inside the CST station in the middle of the carnage.
The photographer said that he was a bit far away, the two terrorists probably noticed him taking their pictures but did not seem concerned.
After he was captured, initially he pretended to be dead, and later was arrested when the cops noticed he was alive. Police sources said that he panicked when he later saw the mutilated body of the slain terrorist, and shouted, “I do not want to die, put me on saline.”
Reports have said that in his statement, Qasab revealed all the details of the operation. He said that the LeT had trained fifteen men for the operation for three months, in Muzzafarabad in Pakistan. After a one-month break, they were trained how to hijack vessels at sea. They were given digital maps of Mumbai.
He also said that the group was led to believe that they would return on November 27, 2008.
A return route had been stored on the GPS device that the terrorist group that used to reach Mumbai by sea.
Azam Amir Qasab said that bombs had been planted in the Taj Mahal hotel long ago. He also said that he booked a room in the Taj to store explosives.
The ground work for the operation was laid four months ago when a recce of all the targets were conducted by the terrorist group. The whole group of terrorists had fake Indian identity cards, and they posed as students.
The operation began with 15 terrorists landing in Mumbai in a boat from Karachi, carrying explosives, inflatable rafts, and weapons.
Then at Porbandar, the group of terrorists hijacked an Indian fishing trawler. The men in the trawler were forced to sit in the terrorist’s boat and sent to Karachi, when the boat headed back. The terrorists then took control of the trawler and kept one member of the trawler’s crew hostage, who was later killed just before the group landed in Mumai.
The group was split into two batches. One landed on Sassoon Dock, and the other landed at Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade in their inflatable dinghies.
Azam Amir Qasab with Abu Ismail Dera Ismail Khan went to CST where they fired indiscriminately at commuters. They then headed to Rang Bhavan.
In the meantime, ATS chief Hemant Karkare along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, and additional commissioner Ashok Kampte took a police Qualis vehicle and went towards Cama Hospital.
Around the corner of Rang Bhavan, Azam Amir Qasab and Abu Ismail Dera Ismail Khan fired at the vehicle and killed the policemen in the Qualis.
The two then got into the Qualis and moved towards Metro cinema with Qasab driving and Abu Ismail shooting at the police chasing them. A tyre of the Qualis was punctured; the two then hijacked a Skoda throwing out the occupants of the car.
They were stopped at a police check point, where Ismail Khan was shot dead and Qasab was captured. Here, Azam shot dead assistant police inspector Tukaram Umbale before his capture.
An injured Qasab was taken to Nair Hospital, and subsequently moved to another government hospital. Qasab was interrogated by the ATS and he kept saying that he didn’t want to die and that he should be put on saline. He also showed no remorse and said that he had done right.
Azam Amir Qasab belongs to Faridkot in the Chipaalpura taluka of Ukhad zilla in Pakistan.