26/11 verdict a message to Pakistan: Chidambaram (Lead)

May 3rd, 2010 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The verdict in the 26/11 terror attack case Monday is a message to Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism against India, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said.
“The judgement is itself a message to Pakistan that they should not export terror to India. If they do, and if the terrorists are apprehended, we will be able to bring them to justice and give them exemplary punishment,” Chidambaram told reporters here, after the guilty verdict on Pakistani national Ajmal Amir Kasab in Mumbai.

Special Judge M.L. Tahalyani in Mumbai convicted Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving terrorist of the 10 Pakistanis who launched the 26/11 carnage in which 166 people were killed.

The minister said the government was satisfied with the speedy trial of the case that started April 15, 2009 and was completed March 31 this year, after nearly seven months of hearings.

“I am satisfied that within a year we could get the conviction of a number of accused in the complex trial. I compliment the investigating agencies and the prosecution for marshalling evidence that Kasab and his associates were guilty,” Chidambaram said.

While holding Kasab guilty, the court citing lack of evidence acquitted two other accused — Indians Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.

The minister said the acquittal showed “the independence and fearlessness and the integrity of Indian courts”.

He stressed that it had been an open trial and Kasab had been given full opportunity to plead his case, which “underlines the fact that India is a country governed by rule of law.

“A criminal trial in India can only proceed step by step. Despite criticism we maintained that Kasab and other accused ought to be tried in accordance with law and they should have all rights that are available to an accused in the Indian law,” Chidambaramhe said.

The court also ruled that the role of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Kasab’s handlers in that country in the Mumbai killings had been established by the prosecution.

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