Pune: Five days before the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the lone captured Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was executed here on Wednesday morning. The news of Kasab’s hanging at Pune’s Yerwada Jail at 7.30 am came as some sort of closure for the kin of the victims of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Kasab was hanged till death at the Yerwada Central Prison after telling jail officials that he had no last wish. The Pakistani national was buried inside the Yerwada Jail at 9.30 am, informed Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Confirming the execution, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said, “Today morning at 7.30 am terrorist Ajmal Kasab was hanged. At this moment we remember the martyrs.” Patil said that Kasab was hanged after following due legal procedure.
Doctors present in the jail also checked and confirmed that Ajmal Kasab had died.
Kasab`s mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 5.
Chavan said that Kasab was shifted to Yerwada Jail from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai two days back.
The government, rightly, maintained utmost secrecy over its plans considering the sensitivity of the issue.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Pakistan has been informed about Kasab’s execution via fax. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistani government about Kasab`s hanging through letter but Islamabad refused to take the letter, Shinde added.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the obligation of keeping Pakistan informed about the hanging was fulfilled.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who appeared for police in the case, said the hanging is a "victory" for the country.
A group of Shiv Sena workers raised slogans `Vande Mataram` slogans outside the Yerawada Jail hailing the hanging of Kasab and demanded that similar justice be meted out to Parliament attack case death row convict Afzal Guru.
Kasab had been lodged in the Arthur Jail Road in Mumbai ever since he was arrested immediately after the attack in November 2008. He was convicted and given capital punishment by the trial court on May 6, 2010 which was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011.
The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the sentence on August 29 this year.
Kasab and nine other gunmen entered Mumbai by boat on November 26, 2008. Carrying mobile phones, hand grenades and automatic weapons, they fanned out across Mumbai targeting luxury hotels Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident, a Jewish centre Chabad House and the city`s main train station Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST).
While nine of the terrorists were shot dead, Kasab was captured alive. The November 26-29, 2008 terror siege had claimed 166 lives.