Safawala Chowk Lahore Map India

What Kasab told the cops on November 28

'Hum teen bhai hai (We are three brothers.) '

'What are the names of your brothers?'

'Afzal and Munir.'

Questions and answers continue like this in one-liners.

'What are their ages?'

'Afzal is around four years elder to me. Munir is around four years younger to me. ' The recording and remembrance of age he seems to do only in relative terms.

'Which means Afzal is twenty-five and Munir is eighteen?' Ghadge gets his math wrong with the younger brother's age.

'Haan sahib. (Yes, sir.) You can deduce that, 'Kasab not the least interested to correct him.

'What do your brothers do?'

'Afzal works as a farm laborer in the village itself,' Kasab replies with a groan, remembering he is injured and in pain.

'Is Afzal married?'

'Yes. He is married to Safia. He has two children: one son and one daughter. Son's name is Ali. He must be around seven to eight years. Daughter's name I don't know. She is just one-year-old. She was born when I was away from home for training. I don't know what they have named her, 'Kasab, for the first time makes a departure from one-line replies.

'Where is Safia's paternal home?'

'She is my maternal uncle's daughter. They are from Lahore. '

'What's the name of the village?'

'There is no village. They stay in Lahore city. At Safawala Chowk, near Nizam Adda in Lahore. Her father's name is Manzoor. She now stays with her parents. They had a fight, my brother and his wife. After that she stays with her parents, 'Kasab, on his own, provides the unsolicited information about the break-up between his brother and his wife.

'Why was there a fight?' Ghadge asks, showing interest.

'Don't know exactly.Paise ke kharche ko lekar jhagda hua hoga. (Must have been over how money was being spent.) 'Kasab puts it down to the money, or the lack of it.

'Where did you say her father's home is?'

'At Safawala Chowk, near Nizam Adda in Lahore. I have been there many times. After getting off at Nizam Adda it's quite close by. It's near a bank. '

'What's the name of the bank?'

'Don't know; it is a big bank. Anybody will tell you. '

'What does Munir, your second brother, do?'

'Woh sakool-wakool jata hai. (He goes to some school.) 'Kasab doesn't attach much importance to his younger brother's occupation.

'Sakool means? ' Ghadge fails to get Kasab's pronunciation.

'Sakool ... sakool,'Kasab tries his best, surprised the cop is not getting it.

'Sakool ... school, you mean? '


'What about your sisters?'

'I have two sisters - Rukaiya and Suraiya.'

'Where are they?'

'Rukaiya is married. She is around one and a half years elder to me. She lives with her husband in Pathankot. '

'Where in Pathankot?'

'It's a small village, adjacent to Havelilakha. You ask anybody about mytaye (elder uncle). His name is Nisaq. Anybody will tell you. It's a small place. '

'You said she is married?'

'She is married to mytaye's son. Her husband's name is Hussain. '

Ghadge, as if he has had enough of his family, skips inquiries about Kasab's younger sister Suraiya and switches back to Kasab's own life, at the time the center of Ghadge's curiosity and in days to come of an entire nation.

'How much have you studied?'

'Till fourth standard. In 2000 I quitsakool.'

'Which school was it?'

'A primary villagesakool. In my village. '

'And after that?'

'I first worked as a laborer in my village. After some time I moved to Lahore and started working there. '

'What labor job?'

'Mazdoori. Cement, etc. Bricks, etc. Working with amistri. Construction work. For five years I stayed in a mohalla called Tohidabad,gali number chauranja, makaan number baraah.'

'Chauranja? One and four? ' Ghadge fails to get Kasab's alien dialect.

'No, chauranja: five and four,' says Kasab correcting Ghadge, seeing that his wretched past is recorded correctly. 'There was asubzi mandiclose to that house. I stayed there till 2005, along with other laborers. We stayed there on rent. Now I have heard they have razed the quarters and constructed a building in its place. '

'You came back to your village in 2005, after five years?'

'In between also I made a few trips. But in 2005 I returned to my village. '

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Image: CST Station, which was the first to be attacked on November 26, 2008
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant /