Justice delivered to 26/11 victims: Nikam
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 15:57
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Minutes after the Mumbai special court awarded a death penalty to Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, special public prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam on Thursday expressed complete satisfaction over the outcome of the year-long trial in the Mumbai terror attacks.

Flashing a victory sign, Nikam told reporters: “The honorable court has given a death sentence to Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab for murdering 166 people and waging a war against the state of India under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.”

“I am extremely satisfied with today’s judgement as it has fulfilled my sincere efforts of minimising the sufferings of 26/11 victims. The verdict has delivered justice to the families of the victims. I am also satisfied as the end of this trial will also set me free from the Arthur Road Jail,” he said in a lighter vein.

Nikam, who had argued the case for the government, said, “In view of the complications, this case posed a major challenge for us but we conducted a fair and open trial in our country, which is also the world’s biggest democracy.”

Taking a jibe at those who slammed the government prosecutor for delay in wrapping up the trial, Nikam said, “Those who suggested us to end this trial citing Kasab’s admission to his guilt possibly did not knew about the tactics which he (Kasab) has implied to mislead the investigators since the beginning.”

Elaborating further, Nikam said, “What has disappointed me to a certain level is the criticism by some section of our society that we were deliberately delaying the end of the trial. They were completely unware of the fact that Kasab lied several times, tried his best to mislead us, repeatedly changed his stance, gave several arguments just to protect himself from the gallows. But nothing could deter us and we conducted a "fair and open trial in the case" which has given the message to the entire world that in India everybody, even a dreaded terrorist, get full opportunity to defend himself.”

Recalling incidents where Kasab changed his stance during various stages of trial, the public prosecutor said, “Kasab was never ashamed of his acts, he sometimes said that he was a minor, and at the other he said he arrived in Mumbai much earlier than the terrorist attacks in the city.”

"He tried hard to mislead the trial... He often resorted to various kinds of dramatics to disrupt the court proceedings. He troubled the authorities a lot. Sometimes he would ask for chicken biriyani, sometimes he would tell us that he wanted to tie a rakhi...he used all the theatrics so as to save himself," Nikam told reporters.

"His shameless tactics convinced us that he had no remorse over killing innocent people,” Nikam added.

Nikam concluded by saying, “The honorable court observed that terrorism is a blot on our society and it does not represent any religion. It poses a big danger to the whole humanity and in view of this a death sentence to Kasab will be most appropriate.”

///////////////// Kasab joins list of those handed down death sentence by courts New Delhi: The face of the most audacious terror attacks on Indian soil, Ajmal Amir Kasab, is the latest name in the list of convicts who have been handed down death sentence by courts.

Nathu Ram Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi, was hanged on November 15, 1949. A right-wing extremist, he was put on trial on May 27, 1948, nearly four months after Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead at Birla House here during an evening prayer.

During the trial, Godse admitted his guilt and gave a long deposition on his reasons for carrying out the assassination. On 8 November 1949, Godse was sentenced to death.

While Godse was driven by hardline politico-religious sentiments, Ranga and Billa brutally murdered two kids in 1978 and were sent to gallows by the Supreme Court.

Kuljeet Singh alias Ranga and Jasbir Singh alias Billa had kidnapped for ransom siblings Sanjay and Geeta Chopra on August 29, 1978.

Three days later, the bodies of the brother and sister were recovered. Ranga and Billa were arrested from a train and were executed in 1982 after a long trial which concluded four years after the crime was committed.

In 1978, the Indian Council for Child Welfare instituted two bravery awards for children under the age of 16, the Sanjay Chopra Award and the Geeta Chopra Award, given each year along with the National Bravery Award.

In another sensational murder known as Joshi-Abyankar murder case, four students of Pune's famous Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya were found guilty for 10 killings between January 1976 to March 1977.

Rajendra Jakkal, Dilip Dhyanoba Sutar, Shantaram Kanhoji Jagtap and Munawar Harun Shah were commercial art students at the Mahavidyalaya who killed Achyut Joshi from Vijaynagar, his wife and their son before decamping with valueables.

The quartet also committed another sensational murder when they hacked to death five family members of noted Sanskrit scholar 88-year-old Kashinath Shastri Abhyankar.

In the fastest trial, the accused were given death sentence within four months on September 28, 1978. It was later upheld by Supreme Court. Their mercy petition was rejected by the President and they were hanged on November 27, 1983.

Prime conspirators of of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh were hanged on January 6, 1989. They were the last men to be hanged in country's largest prison- Tihar.

While the killers of Gandhi -- Beant Singh and Satwant Singh were killed by the bodyguards, Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh went through an exhaustive trial where thir crime was upheld by the court.

In 1995, Auto Shanker, a dreaded serial killer, was sent to gallows for six brutal rapes and murders between 1988-89. Shanker was hanged on August 27, 1995 at the Salem Central Prison.

The latest case of execution was of Dhananjay Chatterjee who killed 14-year-old Hetal Parikh on March 5, 1990 at her apartment residence in Bhowanipur.

He was kept at Alipore Jail for 14 years before his mercy plea was rejected by former President A P J Abdul Kalam and he was hanged to death on August 14, 2004.

PTI ///////////////// Decision on shifting Kasab tomorrow: RR Patil Mumbai: A decision on the issue of shifting Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who was sentenced to death in the 26/11 case, outside Mumbai would be taken on Friday, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said here today.

"We will take a decision on whether to keep him here (Mumbai) or shift him outside, tomorrow," Patil told reporters, soon after the death penalty was announced.

Kasab, 22, is currently lodged in the high security Arthur Road Jail.

"We welcome the verdict. It serves those who attacked Mumbai and India, considering it as a soft target," Patil said.

On the process of appeal in High Court against the verdict, Patil said, "we will request the Centre that the High Court procedure should be fast tracked because charges against Kasab are serious."

On the special court dismissing all charges against two suspected co-conspirators, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, in the 26/11 attack case, Patil said the government will appeal in High Court against the ruling.

Patil said the judge sentenced Kasab to death by hanging on the counts of murder, abetting and conspiracy to murder; waging war against the state; and violating India's unlawful activities laws.

"All charges against him have been proved," he said.

PTI //////////////// Decision on going for appeal after talking to Kasab

The lawyer of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab today said he has the right to appeal against the death sentence served on him for Mumbai terror attacks but a decision was not taken as he has not spoken to his client.

KS Pawar, the lawyer who appeared for Kasab, said any accused has the right to appeal against the verdict if he is not in agreement with it.

"I will not criticise the verdict. If an accused is not satisfied with the verdict given by a court, he can appeal in the higher courts," Pawar told reports after Kasab was sentenced to death for Mumbai terror attacks.

When asked whether Kasab will file an appeal, he said he had not spoken to him regarding this. "I will be given an opportunity to meet him. Then I will ask him and then it (whether to file an appeal) will be decided," he said.

Pawar said he was satisfied with the way he argued for Kasab. "I believe that I have put forward points to save Kasab in the best possible manner. Whether it is accepted or not is a different matter," he said.

Asked whether he accepted that he was defeated, he said for a lawyer, arguing in a case is not like a "street wrestling" competition.

He said after the pronouncement of judgement, the court allowed him to speak to Kasab to ask him about the judgement.

"I asked him and he said, I have nothing to say," Pawar said.

The special anti-terror court of M L Tahaliyani pronounced capital punishment for the 22-year-old terrorist on five counts of murder, conspiracy to murder, waging war against the country, abetting murder and committing terrorist activities under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. A total of 166 people were killed in the 26/11 carnage.


First Published: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 15:57

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