‘Delay in cases like Kasab or Afzal lead to hijacks’
New Delhi: Fast decisions should be taken in terrorist cases like 26/11 strikes involving Ajmal Kasab and the attack on Parliament as otherwise another hijacking of an Indian aircraft may happen to get jailed militants freed, the country`s chief negotiator during the IC-814 hijack has said.
While attempting to make a list of lessons learnt from the Kandahar hijacking, Ajit Kumar Doval stressed on the need to have quick disposal of cases like 26/11 or the Parliament attack and punish the guilty at the earliest.
"We must evolve a system of good disposal of cases and the due process of law must be this thing... that it reduces the possibility" that anti-national elements could take advantage of it, 64-year-old Doval said.
"Now for example say we have got the man has been given a death sentence in Parliament case (Mohammed Afzal) or we have got so many important people. Whatever has to be done by law, it must be expedited. If they are to be hanged let them be hanged. If they have to be convicted, let them," Doval, the youngest IPS officer who was awarded the second highest military award Kirti Chakra, said.
Doval, who later rose to become the Intelligence Bureau Chief, went on to the case of Kasab, the lone Lashker-e-Toiba terrorist arrested during the 26/11 in Mumbai, and said "take the case of Kasab. May be that after six months or one year you don`t do (punish him), there might be a hijacking demanding his release."
"...So expedite these cases, whatever is...executing the punishment and the things like that... whatever is that they should become fast track cases," Doval said and cited the example of Maulana Masood Azhar, one of the three terrorists exchanged for the passengers of IC-814 flight.
Azhar was here for five years and at finally India had to withdraw those cases because he had not even been charged, Doval said. One of the lessons is to shorten the trial duration, he said, adding there should be an amendment in the law to ensure that the burden of proof lies on all those whose release had been sought in exchange of hostages.
Doval negotiated with the hijackers for nearly 110 hours at the Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan to secure the release of hijacked Indian Airlines plane in December 1999.
The hijacking ended after the release of Azhar, Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar.
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