May 6th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   No Comments »
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The victims of the 26/11 carnage at Mumbai have received justice at last. The lone surviving assassin of Mumbai carnage Ajmal Amir Kasab has been found guilty of all the 86 charges against him and has been awarded the ‘death sentence’ on the basis of eye-witnesses, CCTV footages and forensic reports.

 He has been awarded the death penalty on four counts and  life sentence has been pronounced for five others. And then, Kasab broke down.

Ajmal Amir Kasab

Awarding the judgement, Honourable Justice M.L. Tahiliyani “The depravity of the 26/11 attacks is unspeakable….this man has lost the right to humanitarian benefits,” said Judge M L Tahaliyani,  and observed that there was preponderance of overwhelming circumstances that the accused is awarded the capital punishment for murder, waging war against India, conspiring to commit murder, and act of terrorism.

Justice Tahiliyani further added that, “Words cannot express the brutality of this crime.”  “There is no chance of reform or rehabilitation for this man.” Rejecting the arguments of the defence that Kasab was a  21-year-old who was brainwashed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) into executing 26/11, the judge said that Kasab had volunteered to work for the terrorist group.

The judge also said that the trial has established that when the ten terrorists heading from Pakistan to India were delayed in Karachi, Kasab was restless and  “was anxious to attack India,” observed the judge.

Kasab’s lawyer, KP Pawar, had asked the judge to consider Kasab’s age and the fact that he is mentally  disturbed.  Of the former, he said, ‘Undue sympathy will do more harm. Regarding the latter the judge said that there was no evidence.”

Kasab and nine of his other accomplices who came to Mumbai by boat, are mere foot-soldiers of the larger conspiracy, which was conceived and planned in Pakistan. They were guiding their mis-guided youth via telephone during the fighting and those who are actually responsible for the carnage, are as yet unpunished.

The due process of law was followed in this case and the rights of the guilty person, Kasab, were respected. He was given a lawyer to defend him and the trial was comprehensive and transparent.

The death penalty will not be implemented immediately. First, it has to be confirmed by the Bombay High Court. Even if Kasab does not appeal against the death sentence, the judgement will be studied by the High Court.

If the death sentence is ratified by the High Court, Kasab can appeal to the Supreme Court. Thereafter, he also has the option of filing a mercy petition for the consideration of President of India, Pratibha Patil.

The verdict has brought the facts to the fore and it is now up to the corridors of power in New Delhi to take up the matter with their counterparts in Islamabad to bring Hafeez Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman to book.

Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Shaik, the co-conspirators have been let off due to lack of evidence and it has been stated by the prosecution that they would appeal against their acquittal. Their acquittal is also a message to the world that judiciary here is transparent and just.

This case has been dealt with within a reasonable time frame despite the mountain of evidence to be looked  into and the hundreds of witnesses to be heard. The public prosecutor Shri Ujjawal Nikam, stated in his televised interview that the first witness in this case was examined on 8th May, 2009 and the case brought to finality, within a year.

Shri Nikam also added that they did not give cognizance to Ajmal Kasab’s acceptance of the guilt three months after he was arrested. He knew that Kasab was a shrewd player and had he accepted his confession plea then and there, he would not have been able to pursue this case to finality as has been done now.

Judge  Taliiyani has also done a splendid job inasmuch as  his 1522 page judgement pronouncing Kasab guilty of all charges, speaks volumes of the herculean task accomplished by him.

Ajmal Kasab’s machine-gun trotting picture taken by an amateur photographer at CST Railway Station which was flashed in the headlines all over the world after 26/11 carnage sent chilling waves down the spine of millions of Indians, not only the Mumbaikars, who would heave a sigh of relief after this judgement today.

Police had lined up barricades outside Arthur Road jail where the Honourable Judge Tahiliyani pronounced the judgement. Massive Police arrangement was in place when the public prosecutor Shri Ujjawal Nikam and the Jt. Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Mumbai,  Shri Himanshu Roy read out their statements to the anxious  media people.

Kasab broke down when the judgement was read out, he was asking for water for which he was allowed to go out.

Ravi Matah.

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