Kasab gets the noose for 26/11 attack (Third Lead)

May 6th, 2010 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 6 (IANS) Pakistani national Ajmal Amir Kasab was Thursday sentenced to death for his role in the November 2008 Mumbai carnage, India’s worst terror attack, by a special court that said he had no right to live.
Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani gave him death on four counts — waging war against India, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and indulging in terrorist activities.

“To be hanged by the neck till death,” he intoned after reading out each count.

The 23-year-old from a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province broke down as Tahaliyani read out the sentence.

Kasab, the only gunman amongst the 10 Pakistanis to be captured alive, was also awarded life-term on five other charges of the total 86 charges, said Joint Police Commissioner Himanshu Roy after stepping out of the courtroom in the Arthur Road Central Jail.

Tahaliyani said the common man would lose faith in the court if Kasab was given life. “The death sentence is required,” he said as he wound up his statement.

The special court also complimented the entire police team of investigators for their work in investigating the case and appreciated the strong evidence collected against Kasab, Roy told reporters.

Soon after pronouncing the judgement, when Kasab was asked if he had anything to say, he folded his hands and stood quietly - indicating as if the ruling was acceptable to him.

The judge said during the proceedings that Kasab could go out for some time if he wanted water. When Kasab returned to the court, he had tears in his eyes.

The judge also asked the media not to leave the room.

In his indictment, Tahaliyani said that Kasab volunteered to be a mujahideen. He was accompanied by nine men and had indiscriminately fired at innocents.

Kasab was looking down all the while. The judge also asked the defence lawyer whether the terrorist would like to say something. Kasab shook his head, and the judge asked him again in Hindi.

In his first reactions, police officer Roy said: “We welcome this verdict. This was an important investigation. It is an important trial for our democracy.”

“I am happy with the judgement,” a triumphant Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam declared. “This case was a challenge to us,” Nikam, who came out of the court flashing a V sign, told reporters, adding that capital punishment would help heal the wounds of the victims of the terror attack by Pakistani terrorists.

While convicting him Monday, the judge had ruled that Kasab was guilty of directly killing seven people and a total of 59 with associate Abu Ismail, who was shot dead after running into a police picket at Girgaun Chowpatty early Nov 27 - shortly after the terror assault began in the heart of India’s financial capital on Nov 26 night.

His conviction was based on CCTV footage showing him striding across the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with an AK-47 and a backpack.

The 60-hour audacious attack that began on the night of Nov 26, 2008 and went on till the afternoon of Nov 29, 2009 was carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists including Kasab.

They targeted sites like the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, the nearby Hotel Oberoi-Trident, the Cama Hospital and the Chabad House, a Jewish prayer centre, and Leopold Café, a hangout popular with Indians and foreigners.

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