`I have not been accused of professional misconduct by the court,’ says Kasab’s ex-lawyer

`I have not been accused of professional misconduct by the court,’ says Kasab’s ex-lawyerMumbai, Apr 15 : Anjali Waghmare, the lawyer who was appointed to defend Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the November 2008 Mumbai attack, on Wednesday said that the special court had not accused her of ''''professional misconduct'''', and this was all a figment of the media's imagination.

Talking to reporters outside her residence here, Waghmale said: "I have not signed a Vakalatnama to defend a witness in connection with the Mumbai terror attack case, nor has an advocate signed one. The court has revoked the order allowing me to represent Kasab. It has not accused or charged me with professional misconduct."

Anjali, who is a lawyer from the state legal aid cell, was appointed on March 30, and was on Wednesday removed from the assignment.

Kasab had said he had wanted a lawyer to represent him during the trial and was ready to accept a government-appointed lawyer. Now, he has demanded a Pakistani lawyer to represent him in the case.

The decision to remove Waghmare was announced during the trial of Kasab, which began this morning amid tight security.

Kasab personally appeared before the court at the Arthur Road Prison for the first time. Earlier, he had appeared before the court through a video-conference.

Nearly 1,000 security personnel have been pressed into service for Kasab''''s protection. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel have been deployed inside the jail.

Over 450 Mumbai Police personnel have also been deployed at the jail. In addition, platoons of reserved police personnel have also been placed.

The movement of traffic too has been restricted around the special court and the jail. Even the entry of media personnel has been restricted.

Special bar-coded cards have been issued to media houses, lawyers and the court staff.

The police have issue special security passes to residents in the area.

"This issue is serious. The government is doing right by tightening security. Public should know what''''s happening," said Aneesh Shinday, a resident.

However, some residents expressed dissent over the case running for so long.

"Kasab should be hanged. There is no point in stretching this case. Even media pursue such cases for some time till they don''''t get news," said Sunil Bhandarkar, another resident. (ANI)