On June 20, 2009, Ajmal Kasab, who had earlier pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the 86 charges against him, took a sudden U-turn in the middle of the court proceedings and began confessing his version of the truth. “I think I am innocent,” he said. “I wanted to confess, but didn’t since Pakistan wasn’t owning me. Now I’ve learned that Pakistan’s agreed to my being a Pakistani and is ready to prosecute the offenders. I’m voluntarily confessing to the charges without any external source.” Toral Varia-Deshpande was in court during Kasab’s impromptu confession. Though this is not the confession recorded before the magistrate and admitted as court evidence, it was on similar lines.
I had seen mujahids in the market yesterday and (told my friend Muzaffar) that they would give us training. He agreed. We tried to search for them. I knew what mujahids looked like—long-haired, bearded. We were told the mujahideen office was in the sixth gali in Raza Bazaar. We went there and said we had come for jehad. Someone took down our details, including our residential address, and asked us to come the next morning, with our clothes and bag.
Next morning, Muzaffar and I returned. Three more people inquired about our antecedents and took down our details. Then they wrote out an address on a chit—Markaz-e-Toiba, Muridke—and handed it to a person sitting in the office. Money too was given. We were told to board a bus to Lahore which would reach us to Muridke after Bakr-Id.
At Markaz-e-Toiba, we stood outside a big wooden gate. The guard there asked us the purpose of our visit. The guy with us showed him the chit, and we were allowed inside. There were two rooms made of fibre. A person called Abu Fahad Ullah took down our details and asked us to join some other boys. Mufti Saeed and Fahad Ullah would give us lessons in Quran and Hadees. After seven days, we wouldn’t see Muzaffar and some other boys. After 21 days, I was sent to Mansehra by bus and asked to go to the Marqaz-e-dawa-ul-Irshad. At Mansehra, my details were checked again. There were fibre rooms. I was told to go and sit with other boys and have lunch. In the evening, a van came and took 21 of us to a hilly area for training. There were exercises, and training in operating guns and pistols, Quran. This 21-day training was ‘Daura-e-aam’, after which I was told I needed to go for ‘Daura-e-khas’. Accordingly, I was detained and asked to involve myself in the day-to-day affairs of the camp. I was there for three months. We had three ustads—Abu Anas, Abu Bashir and Abu Abdur Rehman. Abdur Rehman asked me to bring my ID card from my district and procure another from Okara. I was asked to go to an address in Model Town in Okara. When I reached there and said I had come for Daura-e-khas, they took down my address and asked me to go to Qasai Nallah in Muzaffarabad. Here, I was physically checked at a chowki. I showed them the chit given to me and was directed to “Saeed bhai ke daftar”. There were two rooms, an office in one. Repeating that I had come for Daura-e-khas, I was given a form, which I filled in Urdu. I was asked to go to another room where other boys were waiting. Next morning, we were taken to the hills. After walking through the mountains for three hours, we reached a training camp where Maksad Aqsa and Abu Maviya were our ustads. Maviya trained us for three months in wielding rocket-launchers, grenades, AK-47s, pistols, mortars, etc.
Thereafter, I was sent home to Faridkot and asked to come back to Saeed bhai’s office after a week. After 10-12 days, Abu Hamza, Abu Kahfa and Saeed bhai came there for selection and chose 15 of us. We knew we had to go to Kashmir. We were taken to a bus stop in Muzaffarabad at night and boarded a bus to Muridke. Abu Kahfa was with us. This place was different from the earlier one in Muridke. Abu Imran taught us how to swim in a pond here. A month later, we were taken to Karachi, and then to the seashore, where we did marine training for 4-5 days. We were kept in a secure house in Karachi. Then we were brought back to Muzaffarabad. Abu Hamza met us here. We were seven boys left (from the original 15). Six had been sent to Kashmir earlier, two had run away, and three others had joined, making us 10. We would be called separately into the room. Hamza would show Ismail and me movies and pictures of CST 2-3 times on a laptop. Abu Jundal taught us Hindi. No one knew where we’d be deployed. We were taken to a forest again and asked to fire rounds in the training camp. Then we were back at Muzaffarabad. Two days later, we were given trousers and T-shirts. Our photos were taken for I-cards. On the 18th day of roza, we were brought to Karachi, given small kits and asked to note the time. We were also given mobiles, told to pull out the batteries and write our names on the label. Hamza came here and asked us to stay for some days, and stay in the room. We were also warned not to disobey him. We stayed for about a month and a half, brought out only for training in operating the inflatable boat. By the 22nd day, Abu Kahfa took three of us to a creekhouse (and told us), “Yeh ammunition apne bag mein bhar lo.” Bags were transported beforehand to Al Hussaini. We were taken to the port and boarded the ship. We started our journey towards India.
Also See: From the archives:
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
“Blazing Gun in hand, Splattered Blood all around, A Calm & Ruthless Stride amidst dead bodies – and the Law still gives a damn to Confession? No wonder tomorrow it becomes mandatory for every man to undergo a Paternity Test to get his Child proved his own; in a Law Abiding Nation which has lately turned into a Slave of Law.”
ALL religions spew violence as a recogntion of their existence. ( though the media claims religion has nothing to do with it ). Kesab was just another victim of brainwashing.
In his last moments Kasab realized the fallacy of Islamic Jihad when he said ‘Ammi ko bata dena’ (please inform my mother) instead celebrating Islamic martyrdom promised by LeT.
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