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Indian SC upholds death sentence of Mumbai terror attack convict

 

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad dismissed the plea of 25-year-old Kasab challenging his conviction and death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court.

Indian SC upholds death sentence of Mumbai terror attack convict
 
The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, saying that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by the Pakistani terrorist.
 
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad dismissed the plea of 25-year-old Kasab challenging his conviction and death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court.
 
It may be recalled that Kasab along with nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed in south Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008 after travelling from Karachi by sea. On a suicide mission, the ten men went on a shooting spree at various city landmarks, in which 166 people were killed.While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists in his group were killed by security forces during the counter-terror operation.
 
The bench rejected his contention that he was not given a free and fair trial in the case.
 
The bench also observed that the failure of government to provide him an advocate at the pre-trial stage did not vitiate trial court proceedings against him.
 
It also held that the confessional statement given by Kasab, which he retracted during the trial, was very much voluntary except a very small portion.
 
The apex court also upheld the acquittal of two Indians, who were alleged to be co-conspirators in the Mumbai terror attack case.
 
The trial court and Bombay High Court had also given clean chit to Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the case.
 
The bench held that the evidence showed the conspiracy and planning of the 26/11 carnage was hatched in Pakistan.
 
Reacting to the verdict, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed by the apex court as amicus curiae to defend Kasab, said, "I bow down to the apex court verdict."
 
The Congress Party, which heads the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre, has welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, and demanded his "quick" execution.
 
"...Now, he should be given complete sentence quickly. Punishment should be executed quickly," Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on Kasab’s appeal against his conviction and sentence.
 
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also demanded Kasab’s execution at the earliest. "Those who wage war against the country and kill innocents deserve no mercy. ... Kasab should be hanged without any delay ... enough of biryani for him," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in New Delhi.
 
Describing Pakistan as "a terror factory", he said the government "must take all steps to destroy" terror infrastructure.
 
Naqvi also sought a separate set of laws to deal with terror-related cases. "No leniency should be shown against this kind of a terrorist. They have tried to destroy the peace of the nation, so he (Kasab) should be hanged as fast as possible," he said.
 
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil welcomed the Supreme Court’s order and said the State government will ask the Centre to expedite the execution of the sentence.
 
"We welcome the apex court verdict and will ask the Centre to ensure that it is implemented at the earliest," Patil told reporters.
 
(Island)
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