Mumbai terror attack: Kasab now demands a Pakistani lawyer to represent him

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Mumbai, Apr.15 (ANI): Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the November 2008 Mumbai attack, has demanded that he be represented by a Pakistani lawyer, hours after a special court removed Anjali Waghmare, his Indian lawyer from the case on grounds of ''professional misconduct''.

It maybe recalled that Kasab had approached the Pakistan High Commission last year with a similar request to which there was no response. Pakistan had at that time said that Kasab was not a Pakistani citizen.

The demand for a Pakistani lawyer was made in an atmosphere of complete confusion. The prosecution said that it would forward the request to the Pakistan Government through diplomatic channels, but added that if Islamabad failed to respond, another Indian lawyer could be appointed.

Anjali Waghmare, a lawyer from the state legal aid cell, was appointed on March 30, and was removed because it turned out that she was also representing a witness in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks.

The decision to remove Waghmare was announced during the trial of Kasab, which began this morning amid tight security.

Kasab personally appeared before the court at the Arthur Road Prison for the first time. Earlier, he had appeared before the court through a video conference.

Nearly 1,000 security personnel have been pressed into service for Kasab''s protection. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel have been deployed inside the jail.

Over 450 Mumbai Police personnel have also been deployed at the jail. In addition, platoons of reserved police personnel have also been placed.The movement of traffic too has been restricted around the special court and the jail. Even the entry of media personnel has been restricted.

Special bar-coded cards have been issued to media houses, lawyers and the court staff.

The police have issue special security passes to residents in the area.

"This issue is serious. The government is doing right by tightening security. Public should know what''s happening," said Aneesh Shinday, a resident.However, some residents expressed dissent over the case running for so long.

"Kasab should be hanged. There is no point in stretching this case. Even media pursue such cases for some time till they don''t get news," said Sunil Bhandarkar, another resident. (ANI)

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