World | India

Mumbai gunman recants confession, alleges torture

Kasab told the judge he came to Mumbai as a tourist and was arrested 20 days before the siege began

  • AP
  • Published: 12:42 December 18, 2009

  • Image Credit: AP

Mumbai: The accused gunman in last year's bloody siege of Mumbai retracted his confession on Friday, saying police tortured him into admitting his role in the attacks that left 166 people dead.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, who is being tried in a special court - and who can be seen carrying an assault rifle in photographs taken during the siege of Mumbai's main train station - told the judge he came to Mumbai as a tourist and was arrested 20 days before the siege began.

On the day the attacks started, Kasab said police took him from his cell because he resembled one of the gunmen. They then shot him to make it look as if he had been involved in the attacks and re-arrested him.

Kasab said he was initially detained after wandering around the city late at night looking for a place to stay and his Pakistani citizenship aroused suspicion.

Kasab, who earlier confessed to spraying gunfire into the crowd at the station, could face the death penalty if convicted.

The assault, which lasted nearly three days, saw 10 young men armed with assault rifles storming two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and the train station. Nine of the gunmen were killed.

Friday's statement was not the first reversal from Kasab.

In July, he told the judge who heads the special court that he wanted to confess to all 86 charges against him, ranging from murder to conspiracy to wage war against India - but then quickly changed his mind and pleaded not guilty.