It was a cool night on November 26, 2008, when 10 heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists brazenly entered Mumbai through the soft Arabian Sea route in a dinghy.
Minutes later, they launched one of the most brutal terrorist attacks that the world has seen, targeting several prime locations in South Mumbai, covering a 4-5 sq km area, leaving India shaken and the global community shocked.
The attack -- at iconic locations such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Hotel Trident, Nariman House, Leopold Café, Cama Hospital, Wadi Bunder – killed 166 persons and left another 300 injured, besides inflicting massive damage to public and private properties.
Here's what happened -- and the subsequent sensational events that finally culminated in the hanging of the sole gunman caught alive, Ajmal Amir Kasab. But, the 26/11 strike case still continues in courts:
Nov 26: Kasab and nine Pakistani gunmen launch a bloody attack on multiple locations in south Mumbai.
Nov 27: At 1.30 am, Kasab is caught and placed under arrest, admitted to Nair hospital.
Nov 29: Kasab gives statement to police, confesses role.
Nov 29: All places under siege secured after 60 hours, nine terrorists killed -- Nazir, Babar Imran alias Abu Aksa, Abu Ali, Abu Soheb, Bada Abdul Rehman, Abu Umar, Fahadullah, Abdul Rehman Chhota and Abu Ismael.
Nov 30: Kasab confesses before police.
Dec 27/28: Identification parade held.
Jan 13: M.L. Tahaliyani appointed 26/11 Special Judge.
Jan 16: The high-security Arthur Road Central Jail selected as the venue for Kasab's trial.
Feb 5: Kasab's DNA samples matches with articles seized from the Kuber fishing boat.
Feb 20/21: Kasab confesses before Magistrate (Mrs.) R.V. Sawant-Wagule.
Feb 22: Criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam appointed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP).
Feb 25: Charge-sheet against Kasab, two others, filed in Esplanade Metropolitan Court.
April 1: Anjali Waghmare appointed Kasab's lawyer.
April 15: Trial of 26/11 case commences.
April 15: Anjali Waghmare removed as Kasab's lawyer.
April 16: Advocate S.G. Abbas Kazmi appointed Kasab's lawyer. Claims Kasab is a "minor".
April 17: Kasab's confession opened in court, he retracts.
April 20: Prosecution charges Kasab on 312 counts.
April 29: Kasab is a major, say experts.
May 6: Charges framed, Kasab charged on 86 counts, denies charges.
May 8: First eyewitness deposes, identifies Kasab.
June 23: Non-bailable warrants issued against 22, including the dreaded Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi -- both in Pakistan.
June 25: Kasab suffering from ulcers, court told.
July 20: Kasab pleads guilty before Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani.
Oct 9: US-Pakistani double-agent David Coleman Headley arrested in Chicago. He was one of those who recced locations/targets for the 26/11 attacks in 2007.
Nov 30: Kazmi removed as Kasab's lawyer.
Dec 1: Advocate K.P. Pawar takes over as Kasab's lawyer.
Dec 16: Prosecution completes its case.
Dec 18: Kasab denies all charges.
Feb 11: Prominent 26/11 lawyer Shahid Azmi shot dead.
Feb 22: Headley issue crops up in court for the first time.
Feb 23: Final arguments to begin from March 9.
Mar 31: Special Court fixes May 3 as date of judgement.
April 6: Then Home Minister R.R. Patil's sensational disclosure in Maharashtra legislature that the bodies of nine slain Pakistani terrorists were buried in January 2010 somewhere near Mumbai. He also warned that any future terrorists would meet a similar fate.
May 6: Kasab sentenced to death by 26/11 court.
June 8: Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah appointed lawyers for Kasab to appear in Bombay High Court.
Oct 18: Kasab's death sentence confirmation/his appeal commences in High Court.
Oct 19: Kasab's throws tantrums, says he wants to attend the court in person, spits at camera and says, "Send me to America"; judges warn him to behave.
Oct 25: High Court judges view CCTV footage purportedly showing Kasab and slain terrorist Abu Ismail in terror acts.
Oct 27: SPP Nikam justifies death sentence to Kasab by trial court.
Oct 29: Kasab confused trial court by frequent U-turns, argues Nikam.
Nov 19: Nikam tells court that 26/11 attackers wanted separate state for Muslims.
Nov 22: Kasab is a liar and plotter, argues Nikam.
Nov 23: High Court Judges again watch CCTV footage of Kasab and Ismael.
Nov 24: Nikam tells the High Court that the trial court had erred in partially accepting Kasab's confession.
Nov 25: Kasab's lawyer Amin Solkar says trial was unfair; demands retrial.
Nov 30: Solkar argues that charge of "waging war against nation" not made out against Kasab.
Dec 2: Kasab did not come from Pakistan by dinghy, his lawyer argues; says that the dinghy could not accommodate 10 persons.
Jan 17: Court reserves judgement till February 7.
Feb 7: Court sets February 21 as judgement date.
Feb 21: Bombay High Court upholds Kasab's death verdict.
March: Kasab writes to Supreme Court challenging HC order.
Oct 10: Supreme Court stays execution of Kasab's death sentence. Kasab claims to that he was "brainwashed"; did not deserve the death sentence as he was very young.
Oct 18: Supreme Court admits Maharashtra appeal challenging the acquittal of Kasab associates Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed.
Jan 31: Kasab contends in Supreme Court he was denied a free and fair trial.
Feb 23: Supreme Court views footage of Mumbai carnage, hears taped conversation of Kasab and his Pakistani handlers and among the 10 terrorists who carried out the attacks.
April 25: After a marathon hearing of nearly 10 weeks, Supreme Court reserves its verdict.
June 25: Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, an accused in 26/11 and other terror cases, deported to India from Saudi Arabia.
Aug 29: Supreme Court upholds High Court death sentence to Kasab.
Aug 29: Supreme Court upholds acquittal of Fahim and Sabahuddin.
Sept: Kasab, through Maharashtra government, moves a mercy plea to President.
Oct 16: Centre moves Supreme Court seeking rejection of Kasab's mercy petition.
Nov 5: President rejects Kasab's mercy plea.
Nov 8: Maharashtra informed of President's decision.
Nov 21: Kasab taken to Yerawada Central Jail, Pune, hanged in secret and buried somewhere in the jail complex in an operation scripted by State Home Minister R.R. Patil.
Jan 24: Headley sentenced to 35 years by a US Court, currently in jail.
Dec 10: Mumbai Special Court pardons Headley in return for turning approver and providing full conspiracy details of 26/11 attacks.
Feb 16: Headley deposes in Bombay High Court before SPP Ujjwal Nikam for the 26/11 trial by video-link from his jail cell. Evidence later submitted to Pakistan.
July 8: Headley survives an alleged attack on his life in US jail, but authorities refused to comment.
(NOTE: Dates not mentioned in two instances. This is because these actions were done in secrecy and officials later informed the media about them)