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Suspected Mumbai attacker's trial delayed – again

The lawyer appointed to defend Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was sacked Wednesday because she had represented a victim in the November attacks.

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Anjali Waghmare (c.) the court-appointed lawyer for Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, sole surviving suspect from last year's Mumbai attacks, is escorted from Arthur Road jail in Mumbai by policemen on Wednesday.

Arko Datta/Reuters

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The Indian lawyer appointed to defend the sole surviving suspect from last year's Mumbai attacks was sacked Wednesday, further delaying the trial and highlighting the difficulty of pursuing this case amid public anger over what's been dubbed "India's 9/11."

For months, the trial of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab has faced major obstacles, both in finding a defense lawyer and providing enough security for the Pakistani suspect to appear in court.

Many Indian lawyers have refused to represent Mr. Kasab, while some who showed interest – if only to show that India can provide a fair trial – have been harassed by right-wing Hindu activists.

Anjali Waghmare, the state-appointed lawyer who was fired Wednesday, had faced threats for defending the suspected terrorist. Some 300 activists from two right-wing political parties, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena, pelted her house with stones last month while protesters chanted jingoistic slogans.

But she was dismissed by the trial judge over claims that she had represented a victim of the attacks – who may also serve as a witness – in a compensation claim case.

Kasab, along with nine other gunmen, went on a murderous rampage in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) last November, killing more than 160 people. He became a poster boy for terrorism after he was photographed marching through the city baring his gun.

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