Tag Archives: Ajmal Kasab

India and Day 26 – Part 4: Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai – 2


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jama’at-ud-Da’wah

The Face of Terrorism. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of the banned Pakistani charity Jama'at-ud-Da'wah and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. (Source: centralasiaonline.com)
The Face of Terrorism. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of the banned Pakistani charity Jama’at-ud-Da’wah and co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. (Source: centralasiaonline.com)

India submitted a formal request to the United Nations Security Council to put the group Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) and its founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on the list of individuals and organizations sanctioned by the United Nations for association with terrorism. India accused JuD and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, of being virtually interchangeable with Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT). India said that the close links between the organizations, as well as the 2,500 offices and 11 seminaries that JuD maintains in Pakistan, “are of immediate concern with regard to their efforts to mobilize and orchestrate terrorist activities.

On December 10, 2008, in an interview with Pakistan’s Geo television, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed denied the link between JuD and LeT stating that “no Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jama’at-ud-Da’wah and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

On December 11, 2008, Hafiz Muhammed Saeed was placed under house arrest by Pakistan when the United Nations declared Jama’at-ud-Da’wah to be a LeT front. He was held in house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order law, which allows authorities to detain temporarily individuals deemed likely to create disorder. In early June 2009 the Lahore High Court, deeming the containment to be unconstitutional, ordered Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to be released. India immediately expressed its disappointment with the decision of the Lahore High Court.

On January 7, 2009, Pakistan’s Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistan national, and registered a case against three other Pakistani nationals.

On February 12, 2009, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan.

On July 6, 2009, the Pakistani government filed an appeal of the Lahore High Court’s decision. Shah Khawar, Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan, told the Associated Press that “Hafiz Saeed at liberty is a security threat.

On August 25, 2009, Interpol issued a Red-corner Notice against Hafiz Saeed, along with Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, in response to Indian requests for his extradition.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was again placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities in September 2009. However, on October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court expunged all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah is not a banned organization and can function freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed “In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law.

Here are some of the other Pakistani terrorist leaders who were at the heels of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks:

  • Abdul Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, second in command of Lashkar-e-Taiba, alleged to be holding out in Pakistan. The United States has announced a reward of $2 million for information leading to the location of Makki.
  • Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a Senior member of LeT in custody of Pakistan armed forces. He has been named as one of the masterminds of the Mumbai attack.
  • Yusuf Muzammil, a Senior member of LeT. He has been named as one of the masterminds of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by Ajmal Kasab.
  • Zarrar Shah, one of LeT’s primary liaisons to the ISI. He is in Pakistani custody. An American official said that he was a “central figure” in the planning behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. In fact, Zarrar Shah had boasted to Pakistani investigators about his role in the attacks.
  • Muhammad Ashraf, LeT’s top financial officer, although not directly connected to the 2008 Mumbai plot, was added to the United Nation’s list of people that sponsor terrorism after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. However, Geo TV reported that six years earlier Ashraf became seriously ill while in custody and died at Civil Hospital on June 11, 2002.
  • Mahmoud Mohamed Ahmed Bahaziq, the leader of LeT in Saudi Arabia and one of its financiers, though not directly connected to the Mumbai plot, after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the U.N. added him to its list of individuals that sponsor terrorism.

Even a year after the attacks, Mumbai police continued to complain that Pakistani authorities were not cooperating by providing information for their investigation.

Meanwhile, journalists in Pakistan said security agencies were preventing them from interviewing people from Kasab’s village.

Kasab was charged with 86 offenses, including murder and waging war against the Indian state, in a charge-sheet running to more than 11,000 pages.

On May 6, 2010, a trial court sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted. He appealed against this verdict. On February 21, 2011, the Bombay High Court and on August 29, 2012, the Supreme Court of India upheld his death sentence.

Former Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the Pakistani authorities had not shared any information about American suspects David Coleman Headley, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, but the FBI had been more forthcoming.

An Indian report, summarizing the intelligence gained from India’s interrogation of David Headley, was released in October 2010. It alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI) had provided support for the attacks by providing funding for reconnaissance missions in Mumbai. The report included Headley’s claim that Lashkar-e-Taiba‘s chief military commander, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, had close ties to the ISI. Headley alleged that “every big action of LeT is done in close coordination with [the] ISI.

On November 21, 2012, Ajmal Kasab was executed by hanging in Yerwada Jail in Pune, southeast of Mumbai, amid great secrecy, underscoring the political sensitivity of the November 26, 2008, Mumbai massacre. His body was buried in the “surrounding area” of the jail. It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004.

There was celebration on the streets of Mumbai and other cities as news of the execution spread. People set off fireworks and handed out sweets sparking celebration days before the fourth anniversary of the assault on the financial capital of India.

Militant groups in Pakistan reacted angrily, as did the residents of Faridkot, Ajmal Kasab’s home village.

The Taliban threatened revenge unless India returns the body of Ajmal Kasab. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan demanded that Kasab’s body be given back to his family or handed over to the Taliban. From an undisclosed location, Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone:

If his body is not given to us or his family, we will, god willing, carry on his mission, we will take revenge for his murder.

After the hanging then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said:

All the police officers and personnel who lost their life in the battle against the terrorists have today been served justice.

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India and Day 26 – Part 4: Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai – 1


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Finally, on 26 November, the GPS had sounded their arrival off the coast of Mumbai, and they had called Karachi to find out what to do with the captured captain. It fell to Ajmal Kasab to act. He had just turned twenty-one and felt compelled to prove his worth. Two others held the Indian sailor down, while Ajmal slit his throat. Blooded, they jumped into a yellow dinghy that pulled them onwards towards the glistening Indian city.” – An excerpt from the prologue of The Seige: Three Days of Terror Inside the Taj by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy.

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On the evening of Wednesday, November 26, 2008, televisions all over the world broadcast the breaking news that Mumbai,  India’s largest city with a population of 18 million was virtually under siege with twelve coordinated shooting and bombing incidents.

The 10 terrorists who took part in the attacks were young men. On November 21, 2008, they left Karachi, Pakistan in a boat and travelled for thirty-eight hours, remaining undetected by the Indian Navy. Each of them was carrying 6 to 7 magazines of 30 rounds each plus 400 rounds not loaded in magazines, 8 hand grenades, one AK-47 assault rifle, an automatic loading revolver, credit cards and a supply of dried fruit.

On November 23, the terrorists hijacked an Indian fishing trawler, the Kuber. They killed four fishermen and ordered the captain of the trawler to sail to India.

On November 26, when they were four nautical miles (7 kilometers) from Mumbai they killed the captain of the trawler and boarding three inflatable speedboats reached the Colaba jetty at 8:10 pm.

The identity of the attackers was not immediately known. Initial reports said they were young men wearing jeans and tee-shirts.

Map of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks
Map of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks

Eight attacks took place in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Oberoi/Trident Hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House renamed Chabad House – a Jewish community center, the Metro Cinema, in a lane behind the Times of India building, St. Xavier’s College, a domestic airport and a police station.

There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai’s port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai - After the terrorist attack (Source: outlookindia.com)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai – After the terrorist attack (Source: outlookindia.com)

The terrorists opened fire and set off Grenades in several locations. In the hotels they sought out foreign nationals, particularly British and American citizens.  Hostages were taken during the attacks.

Around 450 people were staying in the Taj Mahal Hotel at that time. It was hosting a parliamentary conference and a number of visiting dignitaries were ensnared in the violence. The terrorists set fire and destroyed the hotel’s roof. At least 31 people were killed by the terrorists at Taj.

By the early morning of November 28, the Mumbai Police and security forces secured all sites except the Taj hotel.

The panic lasted until Saturday, November 29, 2008.

Terror attack at Taj Hotel, Mumbai on  November 26, 2008. (Source: ramanan50.wordpress.com)
Terror attack at Taj Hotel, Mumbai on November 26, 2008. (Source: ramanan50.wordpress.com)

On November 29, India’s National Security Guards (NSG) conducted the Operation Black Tornado to flush out the assailants. The commandos killed all the terrorists barricaded in the hotel and the three-day long siege.

The only attacker captured alive, 21-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, upon interrogation confessed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. He said that 24 terrorists received training in marine warfare at a remote camp in mountainous Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir in Pakistan and he was one of them.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is one of the largest and most active terrorist organizations in South Asia, operating primarily from Pakistan. This militant network is closely linked to al-Qaeda, and is considered a terrorist organization by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations among others.

Kasab also revealed that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the mastermind behind the carnage who directed the attacks from Pakistan via mobile phones and VoIP.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Pictures of Ajmal Kasab, the boyish-looking gunman wearing a black T-shirt and toting an AK-47 assault rifle as he strode through Mumbai’s railway station were published around the world.

India was traumatized by the three-day terror attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation. The terrorists killed 167 people and wounded at least 308 people. The casualties were mostly Indian citizens, although westerners carrying foreign passports were singled out.

The Government of India said the terrorists came from Pakistan and their controllers were in Pakistan.

Pakistan initially denied that its nationals were responsible for the attacks and it blamed plotters in Bangladesh and criminal elements in India, for the attacks. But India refuted this claim.

Then Pakistan said they needed information from India on other bombings first.

The officials in India supplied evidence to Pakistan and other governments, in the form of interrogations, call records of conversations during the attacks, and weapons used in the Mumbai terror attacks. The Indian government officials alleged that the attacks were so sophisticated that they must have received official support from Pakistani ‘agencies’, an accusation denied by Pakistan.

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Ajmal Kasab the 26/11 Pakistani Terrorist Hanged Atlast. Indians Satisied.


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Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive during the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai in 2008, was hanged at the Yerwada Jail in Pune at 7.30 am IST today.

Today, Wednesday Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the Indian government tried to reach to the family members of Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged this morning in Pune’s Yerwada jail. He said: “Kasab has been hanged to death today morning at Pune’s jail. He was taken to Pune from Mumbai two days back. Kasab has been buried in Yerwada jail premises itself.”

Here are some reactions on the hanging:

K. Unnikrishnan, father of NSG commando Major Sandeep who died during the 26/11 terror attacks:  

“I have said in the past during my emotional moments that he should be hanged by the lamp post. But today I say it is done. This is one step. Surely , this is not a closure for us. The investigation must continue and the other culprits should be booked by Pakistan more than by India.”

Smita Salaskar, wife of police officer Vijay Salaskar who was killed during the attacks:

“With this hanging, homage has been paid to my husband. But the real homage will be the conviction of other accused shielded in Pakistan. Late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had also demanded Kasab’s hanging. His wish and our wish have been finally fulfilled. The entire family is happy to hear the news that Kasab was hanged, ahead of the fourth anniversary of the attack. I hope the death sentence of Parliament House attack convict Afzal Guru would also be executed soon.”

Eknath Omble, brother of police officer Tukaram Omble who died while trying to capture Kasab:

“I am proud and very happy that my brother’s efforts have paid off. We are very happy and satisfied. Ajmal Kasab should have been hanged in public, but I know our law does not permit this. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has stood by his promise that he would take decisions that would satisfy the Indians.” 

Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of Home Affairs:

“Ajmal Kasab was hanged in Yerwada at 7:30 this morning. The President had rejected Kasab’s mercy plea on November 5. I signed it on the 6th and the Maharashtra government signed it on the 8th. The same day, we decided that he will be hanged on the 21st. We would have considered Pakistan’s request for the body, however, we have not yet received a request. The External Affairs Ministry had informed Pakistan that Kasab will be hanged.”

Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs:

“Everything has been done as per law. This shows the law applies to everyone the same. If Pakistan or the family asks for the body, we will consider it. Right now, we don’t have any such request. Our letter was not accepted by the Pakistan foreign office. We then sent them a fax indicating that the hanging will take place. We have fulfilled our obligation. Hope rule of law will prevail in Pakistan as well.”

Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Chief Minister:

“According to the law, proceedings were carried out. He was moved to Pune from Mumbai two days ago. The judge had fixed the date for hanging and the sentence was carried out accordingly. Kasab had refused a will.  He has been buried in Yerwada jail. With this it has been proved that India’s rule of law prevails. If someone breaks the law of land, he will be punished, even if it takes time and expenses. Any attack on the country will not be tolerated.”

R R Patil, Maharashtra Home Minister:

“This was an attack on our country. Many of our citizens were killed, including our brave officers. Nine terrorists were killed but one was caught alive. The special 26/11 court awarded death penalty to Kasab, the High Court and Supreme Court upheld it. He filed a mercy petition, but was rejected and he was hanged at 7:30 am this morning. This is a tribute to people and police officers who lost their lives during the attack.

Omar Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister tweeted:

“Gotta hand it to the Govts at the centre & in Mumbai for the mature way they handled this. Shows we can still keep a secret if we need to.”

Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister:

Narendra Modi tweeted this message: What about Afzal Guru, who attacked Parliament, our temple of democracy, in 2001? That offense predates Kasab’s heinous act by many years.

Digvijaya Singh, Senior Congress leader tweeted:

“Finally Kasab hanged. GOI should pursue the case of the Handlers in Pakistan. Afzal Guru’s case should also be expedited now.”

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP leader:

“Better late than never. This was in order. The enemy of the country has been punished.”

Milind Deora, Minister of State for Information Technology tweeted:

“So much for the right-wing sponsored ‘Congress is soft on terror’ debate! The Government’s actions make me a prouder Indian.”

Ujjwal Nikam, Special public prosecutor:

“It is a victory for the country. By hanging Kasab, we have paid homage to all those policemen and innocent persons who lost their lives. By Kasab’s conviction and death penalty, we have proved how the entire conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan. We have set an example that India will not tolerate such attacks and the accused will be brought to justice.”

Lalu Prasad Yadav, President Rashtriya Janata Dal:

“Kasab’s crime was established in the court of law and justice was accordingly served. Bad deeds will lead to a bad outcome.”

J.K. Dutt, National Security Guard Chief:

“On hearing the news of Kasab’s hanging, I felt all the ten terrorists who were involved in the incident were accounted for. But there is still some distance to be covered because there are other conspirators behind this incident sitting elsewhere and they need to be brought to account. We must remember those who lost their near and dear ones (during the 26/11 attacks), the incident will remain with them.”

Anna Hazare, Anti-corruption activist:

“It’s taken too long to hang Kasab. He should have been hanged in public (chauraha). A public hanging of Kasab would have been a lesson for anybody who causes loss of life in our country.”

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India’s Supreme Court Upholds Ajmal Kasab’s Death Sentence


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, India’s Supreme Court upheld the death penalty imposed on 25-year-old Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab convicted under Section 302 of IPC (murder) and terror-related provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station on November 26, 2008.
The Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab on a killing spree at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station on November 26, 2008.

The globally condemned Mumbai terror attacks, began on Wednesday, November 26 and lasted until Saturday, November 29, 2008, resulting in166 people killed and at least 308 wounded.

On November 26, 2008, around 20:00, Indian Standard Time (IST), a 10-member team of terrorists from Pakistan came in inflatable speedboats. They came ashore at two locations in Colaba, Mumbai. They split into groups and went off in different directions.

Later, Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive, disclosed that the attackers were members of the Pakistan-based militant organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist outfit banned in India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, among others. He also confessed that they conducted the attacks with the support of Pakistan’s ISI.

During the 60-hour siege of Mumbai, the terrorists orchestrated 11 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai. Eight of the eleven coordinated attacks occurred in South Mumbai – at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the Oberoi Trident, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Metro Cinema, the Nariman House Jewish community center, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College. The other three attacks – an explosion in Mumbai’s port area, at Mazagaon, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.

The attacks began around 21:30 when two men, Ajmal Kasab and another gunman Khan opened fire, in the passenger hall, using AK-47 rifles. They killed 58 people and injured 104 others. Their assault ended at about 22:45. The two gunmen while fleeing the scene fired at pedestrians and police in the streets. They killed eight police officers.

The attackers then passed a police station. The police officers, short of arms and ammunitions, secured the gates and switched off the lights. They dared not confront the heavily armed terrorists. The two terrorists then headed towards Cama & Albless Hospital. However, the hospital staff locked all patient wards.

After the attackers had left the railway station, a team of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) led by chief Hemant Karkare arrived there. Not finding the terrorists at the railway station, they pursued the attackers.

When the ATS squad’s vehicle entered a lane next to the hospital, Kasab and Khan opened fire. The ATS team returned fire. Chief Hemant Karkare, Encounter Specialist, Vijay Salaskar and Senior Inspector Ashok Kamte succumbed to the bullets of the terrorists. Only Constable Arun Jadhav survived the attack but wounded. He radioed for help.

Kasab and Khan then drove off in the squad’s vehicle. Later, they abandoned it and seized a passenger car and ran into a police roadblock. The ensuing gun battle resulted in Khan’s death, the arrest of a wounded Kasab and the death of a police officer named Tukaram Omble.

By early morning of November 28, Mumbai Police and security forces secured all sites except the Taj hotel.

On November 29, the National Security Guards carried out Operation Black Tornado to flush out the attackers at the Taj hotel. It resulted in the deaths of the last remaining terrorists.

The Indian government insisted that the terrorists came to Mumbai from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan.

On January 7, 2009, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Information Minister, officially accepted Ajmal Kasab’s nationality as Pakistani.

On May 6, 2010, the Mumbai trial court awarded the death penalty to Ajmal Kasab on all the 86 convicted charges.

Kasab appealed against his conviction and the death penalty. He said he deserved leniency for not being part of the larger conspiracy. He also argued that he wanted a fair trial and legal assistance as mandated under the terms of Article 22 (1) of the Indian Constitution. The court appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran to argue the case on behalf of Kasab.

On February 21, 2011, the Bombay High Court, and on August 29, 2012, India’s Supreme Court, upheld the death penalty imposed on Ajmal Amir Kasab, and rejected his appeal against the sentence in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The Supreme Court underscored the fact that Kasab and the other nine Pakistanis who executed the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai were part of a “deception, the falsehood that the terrorists were Indian Muslims coming from Hyderabad and were connected with some fictitious organization called Mujaheddin, Hyderabad Deccan … .

Justice CK Prasad and Justice Aftab Alam observed:

“If the appellant had not been caught alive and the investigating agencies had not been able to unravel the conspiracy fully and in all its devious ways, the terrorists might have passed as Indian Muslims and that would have led to devastating short-term and equally debilitating long-term consequences.

“It would have caused a cleavage of distrust and suspicion between communities and disturbed the communal peace and harmony of the country. It is not impossible that conflagrations would have erupted in different parts of the country, which the governments would have found difficult to contain.

“In this regard, the selection of the CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) as one of the targets for carnage assumes great importance. Trains leave for many parts of the country from the CST. Thus, as news of the carnage spread across the country through the media, travelers would start arriving in different parts of the country, some having lost their near and dear ones at CST, some with a wounded companion and others shell-shocked by the experience of a terrorist attack on the railway station. Their first-hand, eyewitness accounts of the carnage, added to reports in the print media and visuals in the electronic media, could be highly inflammatory and could easily evoke communal violence that would be difficult to contain.

“The deception was ominous because it aimed at destabilising Indian society and its governments. But it was equally distressing for being so deeply untruthful. Indian Muslims may have a long list of grievances against the establishment. Some of the grievances may be fanciful, some may be of their own making and some may be substantive. Nevertheless, no Indian Muslim would even think of venting his grievance like an animal, killing, maiming and wounding innocent people, his own countrymen. This is because he is not only loyal to his faith and community but equally loves his country and fellow countrymen.”

Majority of Indians, barring a few Islamists, want Ajmal Kasab, the ruthless Pakistani killer to die; however, they know that this will never happen on Indian soil as long as sycophant politicians, of all hues, who while welcoming the judgement of India’s Supreme Court, have their own agenda.

The other major deterrent to Kasab’s execution would be Amnesty International. Their web page, “RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS“, says,

“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.

The death penalty is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state.

It is carried out in the name of the nation’s entire population, and affects everyone. Everyone should be aware of what the death penalty is, how it is used, how it affects them and how it violates fundamental rights.”

Like any other Indian who loves his country, I cannot fully agree with the Amnesty International in the case of Ajmal Amir Kasab.

How about you?