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Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 17:31 UK

Shot Mumbai policeman testifies

Mumbai gunman, identified as Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab
Ajmal Amir Qasab is alleged to have opened fire on commuters

An Indian court has heard dramatic new evidence against the alleged sole surviving gunman of the Mumbai attacks, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab.

Sanjay Govilkar, a police officer who was present during the battle to capture Mr Qasab, told the court how he and his colleague had been shot.

He and the other police officer were fired on by Mr Qasab before he was overpowered, Mr Govilkar said.

Mr Qasab is charged on 86 counts, including waging war against India.

He is also accused of murder and possessing explosives. Last week he pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces.

'He fired'

Mr Govilkar said his confrontation with Mr Qasab had taken place overnight on 26 November at a checkpoint in Mumbai.

An Indian soldier surveys the Taj Mahal Palace Tower Hotel in Mumbai, during the attack in November
The Mumbai attacks seriously strained relations with Pakistan

"There were about 12 to 13 police officers [at the checkpoint] when a Skoda [car] approached it," he said.

"The vehicle did not stop and took a u-turn crashing into the divider... We rushed to the vehicle.

"As we came, Qasab got out of the car with his weapon. We tried to snatch the weapon and grab him. But he fired and Tukaram Omble [the other police officer] and I were injured."

Mr Omble later died from his injuries.

Mr Govilkar - who was injured on the right side of his waist - said that he had helped police to overpower the suspect with batons despite his injuries.

Both he and his colleague were rushed to hospital after Mr Qasab's arrest, he said.

During cross-examination, he denied claims that he had been "instructed beforehand" on the nature of his evidence.

Smiling in court

The judge in the case on Tuesday afternoon again warned Mr Qasab to refrain from smiling in court.

MAIN QASAB CHARGES
Waging war on India
Murder
Conspiracy to murder
Destabilising the government
Kidnap
Robbery
Smuggling and possessing illegal arms and explosives

He was reprimanded after lunch during the evidence of the third witness, Hemant Bavdhankar, who was narrating how Tukaram Omble was shot.

Special judge ML Tahiliyani was evidently annoyed with the defendant's behaviour and reacted sharply, says the BBC's Prachi Pinglay, who was in court.

"I have noticed he [Qasab] always laughs when Omble's name is mentioned and the incident is talked about," the judge said.

More than 170 people died in the attacks, including nine gunmen.

Two Indians, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, are also on trial accused of being members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and of scouting for the attacks.

They too have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit the same offences as Mr Qasab.

In an earlier hearing, Mr Qasab retracted a confession, saying it had been coerced.

It will be up to the judge to weigh the evidence at the trial and decide whether the confession should be taken into account.

India has accused Pakistan-based fighters from Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the attacks, which took place from 26-28 November.

Pakistan has admitted they were partly planned on its soil and the two countries have suffered seriously strained relations.

The case continues.



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