World | India

India hangs 2008 Mumbai attack gunman Mohammad Ajmal Kasab

Mohammad Ajmal Kasab was hanged at a jail in Pune, after India's president rejected his plea for mercy

  • Agencies
  • Published: 09:39 November 21, 2012
  • Gulf News

Mohammad Ajmal Kasab
  • Image Credit: AP
  • Mohammad Ajmal Kasab walks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai during deadly attacks in 2008.
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New Delhi: India executed Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of a militant squad that killed 166 people in a rampage through the financial capital Mumbai in 2008, hanging him on Wednesday just days before the fourth anniversary of the attack.

Kasab was buried inside the premises of Pune's Yerawada Central Jail shortly after he was hanged, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.

Kasab, a Pakistan national, was the enduring image of the bloody assault, which traumatised India and raised fears of copycat attacks on foreign cities.

Pictures of the young gunman wearing a black T-shirt and toting an AK-47 rifle as he strode through Mumbai's train station were published around the world.

The hanging took place early on Wednesday amid great secrecy, underscoring the political sensitivity of the November 26, 2008, massacre, which still casts a pall over relations between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

He was buried inside the prison where he was hanged, officials said. India said it would hand over the body to Pakistan if a request was made.

"All the police officers and personnel who lost their life in the battle against the terrorists have today been served justice," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said shortly after Kasab was hanged in a jail in Pune, southeast of Mumbai.

It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004. There was relief on the streets of Mumbai as news of the execution swiftly spread.

"When I heard the news of Kasab's execution today, I remembered those horrifying moments of the attack. My eyes were filled with tears," said Vishnu Zende, who was working at Mumbai's train station on the day of the attack.

In August, India's Supreme Court upheld Kasab's 2010 death sentence over the attacks on a string of targets. Nearly 60 people were gunned down in the train station alone.

President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for clemency on November 5, although this was not made public until Tuesday night.

Kasab hanging 'better late than never'

Kasab's hanging was a case of "better late than never", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said after the Pakistani terrorist was executed.

"It took us four years to finally hang him...Better late than never," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told mediapersons here.

'Foot soldier'

Ten militants arrived on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on November 26, 2008, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a killing spree. They held off elite commandos for up to 60 hours in two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre in the city.

India accuses Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) of organising the attacks and says Islamabad is failing to act against those behind the raids. Pakistan denies involvement and says it is prosecuting seven suspected militants for their role.

"Kasab was a foot soldier, the generals are in Islamabad, in Pakistan, and full justice will be done when they are brought to justice," said Gopalapuram Parthasarathy, a former ambassador to Pakistan.

India and Pakistan's relations have gradually improved since the attacks, with progress made on trade and economic ties.

Possibly because of the planned execution, India on Tuesday asked Pakistan to postpone a visit this week by its Interior Minister Rehman Malik, saying the dates were "not suitable for us". Malik was due to put the final seal on a deal to ease visa restriction for travellers.

Kasab's execution happened very quickly for India's usually glacial justice system. Three people convicted of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are still on death row, 21 years after he was killed by a suicide bomb.

Islamabad was informed beforehand about Kasab's execution, said a Pakistani foreign ministry official who asked not to be identified.

"If all judicial procedures were followed then the decision is acceptable," the official said.

Raju Ramachandran, one of Kasab's lawyers, said Kasab was a worried man when he last met him before the death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. He was scared that he would be hanged and asked the lawyer, "Can you please help me get out of jail?"

Pakistan informed

Pakistan had been informed about Kasab's hanging, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.

He told reporters that President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected Kasab's mercy petition.

"Pakistan has been informed but there is no demand for Kasab's body. The president rejected Kasab's mercy petition November 5. I had further forwarded it to the Maharashtra government on November 8," Shinde told media.

Comments (21)

  1. Added 19:56 November 21, 2012

    True judgment, but the delay, as per the procedure that also ok . We the living one of the world are not ready to give any chance to the terrorism any how. The God may give forgives every body.

    Abdurahiman, Dubai, India

  2. Added 18:54 November 21, 2012

    Kasab SHOULD have been hanged ages ago. Four years in custody has cost Indian taxpayers millions and billions of Rupees to provide him an utmost,watertight security. Nonetheless, justice has been done, at last. Now we the Indian Patriots are anxiouly waiting for the day when Afzal Guru - another terrorist who stormed Indian Parliament back in 2004 - is hanged.

    K HALAI, London, United Kingdom

  3. Added 18:27 November 21, 2012

    Its good that Justice is done but don't call this Person Pakistani. Because these extremist people have no Religion, no boundaries, no country. They have their own intention/motives. Nothing to do with ordinary people of pakistan. He has no relation with pakistan.

    Aamir, Ajman, Pakistan

  4. Added 17:45 November 21, 2012

    This is a Good news for the 2008 Victims family members.Entire India is Celebrating Kasav's hanging.He has not commanded Sympathy because of his act even though he is Very Young.Terrorism should be Punished Severly whether internal or external. Indian Judicial system should followfollow the same decision for the pending cases like AfzalGuru. K.Ragavan. Bangalore. India

    K.Ragavan, Bangalore, India

  5. Added 17:18 November 21, 2012

    Good for Good Bad for Bad, But i still don't believe in this media makes stories, Only one thing to say Bad for bad people and Good for Good once.

    Muhammad, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 17:10 November 21, 2012

    I really appreciate our honourable president for a Quick response, after this no terrorist should dare to think of doing this Cruel act again!!! and Islam doesnt accept Terrorism

    Rauf, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 17:08 November 21, 2012

    well done

    mohamed usman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 16:48 November 21, 2012

    It sound great that justice has been done! but waiting for another decision to be taken by pakistani president to hang singh who is responsible for killing 36 innocent peoples in Lahore Bomb Blast and since long time court order to hang him but he is still alive.

    Ahmad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 16:44 November 21, 2012

    Even though justice has been served many years later there is no consolation for the victim's families. A person like Kasab can never find redemption. But he is just a foot soldier in the ugly army of LeT (Lashkar E Taiba) and they are the main targets that India, Pakistan need to go after for peace and prosperity between both the countries.

    rohit, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 16:38 November 21, 2012

    Kasab desrved this punishment. He should have been hanged 3 years back.

    A Pakistani, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments

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