Constable Tukaram Omble’s heroic sacrifice to capture Ajmal Kasab alive not only created irrefutable proof of Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks, but also served another purpose — it prevented the attack from being labelled as “Hindu terror.”
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has revealed the dastardly plan behind pinning the attack on Hindu extremists in his book ‘Let Me Say It Now’. Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab would have died as Bengaluru resident Samir Dinesh Chaudhari with a ‘red thread tied around his wrist’ had militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) succeeded in their plan, he reveals in the book. “There would have been screaming headlines on 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. But alas, it had not worked that way and here he was, Ajmal Amir Kasab of Faridkot in Pakistan,” Maria says.
It had been previously reported that the attackers carried fake ID cards of Arunodaya College in Hyderabad. The Mumbai officer says that similar identity card was planned for Kasab too. Kasab was also pictured wearing a “kalawa”, or the sacred red Hindu thread on his wrist while carrying out the attack.
Maria says that Laskhar’s plan was foiled because Kasab was captured alive, and was eventually revealed to hail from Faridkot in Pakistan. Kasab had initially joined Lashkar-e-Taiba for committing robberies and had “nothing to do with jihad”.”He and his friend Muzaffar Lal Khan wanted to commit robberies to improve their financial status and wanted to get hold of some weapons and training to achieve their nefarious objective,” he says. Kasab was given Rs 1,25,000 and a week-long family visit holiday in exchange for carrying out the attack. “He gave the money to his family for his sister’s wedding,” wrote Maria.
Maria also revealed how Kasab had been misled into believing that Muslims were treated poorly in India in order to make him carry out the attack. “Kasab 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 lockup was just a figment of his imagination. When we came to know of this, I instructed Mahale (investigating officer Ramesh Mahale) to take him to the mosque near the metro cinema in a vehicle,” Maria added.
The officer says that Kasab was “bewildered” when he saw the namaaz in progress. Maria also revealed that he personally interrogated Kasab every day. “It gave me a deep insight into the psyche of how terrorist outfits operated. Our daily interactions forged some sort of a bond between Kasab and me, and soon Kasab began addressing me respectfully as ‘Janab’ (sir).”
But even though Kasab had been captured alive, certain sections within the India media had sought to pin the blame on “Hindu terror”. Days aftr the attaack, Congress leader Digvijay Singh had spoken at the release of a book which claimed that the Mumbai terror attacks were an RSS conspiracy.