26/11 Norwegian survivors want lifer for Kasab

Ajmal Kasab should be given life sentence as capital punishment would allow jihadis to portray him as a hero, a Norwegian couple who survived the 26/11 terror attacks said.

Updated: Nov 22, 2010, 20:43 PM IST

Mumbai: Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab
should be given life sentence as capital punishment would
allow jihadis to portray him as a hero, a Norwegian couple who
survived the 26/11 terror attacks said.

Arne Stromme, 55, who was hit on his face by a bullet
during the attack, and his girlfriend Line Kristin Woldbeck,
arrived here today for the first time after the terror
strikes.

"If he (Kasab) is killed as per legal procedures, the
jihadis will portray him as a hero. Instead, he should be
given life sentence," Line, an executive in marketing
communications firm said.

Arne, too, echoed similar views that Kasab should not
be awarded death sentence.

Recounting their horrifying experience, the Norwegian,
who was to leave the city on November 29, said, "I, Line and
an Indian woman were dining at the restaurant (Cafe Leopold)
when some unidentified persons barged in and started firing
indiscriminately."

"We all ducked under the table but one bullet gazed
through my face injuring me seriously. We were trapped at the
cafe for 45 minutes."

The terrorists did not stop with that, recollected
Line. "They shot several people from very close range. It was
a very terrible experience I ever had."

Our Indian friend was also shot dead, she said, adding
that "after a while, Army men (read commandos) came and
rescued us. I felt betrayed when nobody turned up to save us
from the Colaba police station located right in front of the
Leopold."

The couple arrived here to pay to pay tributes to the
heroes and victims on the second anniversary of the barbaric
attacks.

On November 26, 2008, Kasab, along with nine others,
came through the sea route to Mumbai, and opened fire at
various places including Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Hotel, Oberoi
Hotel and CST station killing over 160 people.

The first attack occurred at about 9:30 pm at the Cafe
Leopold.

Kasab was awarded death penalty by an anti-terror
special court here. The Bombay High Court is presently hearing
a reference for confirmation of the death sentence awarded to
the lone surviving 26/11 attacker.

PTI