As terrorist gunmen ran amok in Mumbai on the night of November 26, Rakesh Maria, a detective whose exploits regularly inspire Bollywood’s thriller makers, found himself facing the most valuable captive he is ever likely to interrogate.
The prisoner was Azam Amir Kasab, 21, allegedly the sole Mumbai gunman to be taken alive, who made his first public appearance in a special bomb-proof courtroom inside Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail today.
During the opening moments of what would become a 60-hour ordeal, Mr Kasab and an accomplice allegedly shot dead 58 people at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the city’s main railway station – an assault on working-class commuters that would account for a third of the Mumbai attack’s total death toll. Nine other gunmen were killed.
Mr Kasab, who is accused of being a footsoldier for the Islamist Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist faction, allegedly failed in his bid for martyrdom when the car he and Ismail Khan had stolen ran into a police roadblock. While Khan was shot dead, Mr Kasab was captured.