Mumbai victims' relatives pleased with Kasab hanging
Families of victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks say justice has been done with the execution of the surviving attacker Mohammad Ajmal Kasab.PT0M0S 620 349
AJMAL Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist from the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, has been executed in India. Kasab, 25, a Pakistani national, was hanged at 7.30am on Wednesday at Yerawada jail in Pune, after a plea for clemency was rejected by India's President.
On November 26, 2008, Kasab was one of 10 Pakistani terrorists who sailed into Mumbai, armed with Kalashnikovs, grenades and hand-made bombs, and launched 10 co-ordinated bombing and shooting attacks. They laid siege to the city, including landmarks like the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, for more than 60 hours, killing 166 people.
Kasab was asked if he had ''any final desires'', but said he did not. He was buried in the grounds of the jail.
''The entire process was executed very secretly. Pakistan has been informed but there is no demand for Kasab's body,'' Home Minister Sushil Shinde said.
Kasab bore the brunt of India's opprobrium over the attack. Politicians and public figures made regular entreaties that he be executed swiftly, after he was convicted of 86 offences, including waging war against India.
After his execution, Mumbai dabbawalas were seen burning his picture in celebration and setting off fireworks.
Members of Hindu nationalist organisation Shiv Sena held a celebration outside the Pune jail, chanting ''vande mataram'', ''hail the motherland''.
''Kasab's hanging is a tribute to all the 166 people killed as well as those police officers martyred in the attack,'' Maharashtra Home Minister R. R. Patil said.
But Kasab was also a valuable source of information about how the attack was conceived and carried out.
Indians were horrified at the planning and execution: the months of indoctrination and weapons training at Lashkar-e-Taiba bases across Pakistan; the painstaking process to select 10 men to carry out the assault, and the details of their amphetamine-fuelled rampage.
When it rejected his appeal against his death sentence, the Supreme Court said Kasab showed no remorse, and considered himself ''a hero and a patriotic Pakistani at war''.
Pakistan's perceived reluctance to pursue the masterminds of the 2008 attacks is the cause of continued tension with India.
The trial of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman and six others accused of planning the attacks has been slow to progress in a Rawalpindi court, and Pakistan has withheld information from Indian authorities.