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Villagers celebrate “blow” to terrorism

Village was named Pakistan in memory of villagers who migrated to Bangladesh

Gulf News

Patna: Pakistan may have reacted cautiously but a village by the name of “Pakistan” located in far-east Bihar has gone into jubilation mode to celebrate the execution of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.

The happy villagers burst crackers, distributed sweets among them and hugged each others not to celebrate the death of the terrorist but as a mark of India’s fearless reply to terrorism which, they say, has left deep scars across the country in the past two decades.

Currently inhabited by only Hindu families, the village — tucked away in Srinagar block of Purnia district, more than 350km east of Patna — was named “Pakistan” in the memory of Muslim villagers who migrated to East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, after partition of India in 1947.

“Kasab committed heinous crime for which he deserved death but we are not celebrating his death. We are pleased how the country has showed toughness and guts to fight terrorism. We appreciate the rulers,” a local villager Rambabu Murmu told the local media.

Villagers not only distributed sweets but also burst crackers on the streets to celebrate the occasion. “It’s time to celebrate now. Terrorism has been done a severe blow”, they exclaimed.

According to villager Bajjal Murmu, the villagers had seriously considered changing the name of the village in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, but after a long discussion “we finally dropped the idea”.

Villagers say Pakistan signifies the kind of love and friendship prevailing between Hindus and Muslims who have coexisted together for centuries.

Kasab, the lone surviving gunmen of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which left 166 people killed, was hanged and buried at Pune’s Yarwada Central Prison amid high secrecy early on Wednesday morning when most of India was still sleeping.

The local jail authorities believe the rope used to hang Kasab may have been the same which they supplied earlier to hang another terrorist Afzal Guru, convicted in the December 2001 parliament attack. Buxur jail in Bihar is the only prison in India which has the expertise to weave hanging ropes, known as Manila ropes, to hang death convicts.

Authorities revealed the New Delhi’s Tihar jail authorities had in October 2006 placed a request for rope to hang Afzal Guru, giving full details of convict’s height and weight. Subsequently, the rope was delivered to the Tihar officials at a payment of Rs860 (Dh57).

“Although no demand for ropes to hang Kasab came to us this time, we believe he must have been hanged with ropes meant for Afzal since both are of almost the same height and weight,” said a Buxur jail official saying perhaps the authorities did not give them requisition for ropes since they apparently wanted to maintain high secrecy.

The official added that they would be happy to know from the Pune jail authorities if the rope used to hang Kasab was the same supplied earlier to hang Afzal.