Mumbai: "Badle tumne rang bahut, bahut
badle nakab; Fansi tak hamne tumhe la hi diya Kasab. (You
changed colours, you changed masks; but in the end I brought
you to the gallows)."
This is how public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam responded
to the confirmation of death sentence to Pakistani terrorist
Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks by the Bombay
Describing 24-year-old Kasab as "nautanki ka
khalnayak" (villain of a drama) and "atank ki andhi" (the
storm of terror), Nikam said the terrorist never showed any
remorse after being captured and even told a magistrate in his
confessional statement that he felt sorry for arriving late at
CST as there were fewer people whom he could kill.
"Kasab told the magistrate that he wanted more
terrorists to be ready for attacking India. He had no regrets
for what he had done," Nikam, who also led the prosecution
during the trial, said.
"Kasab had been taught by his mentors to shift stand
if caught alive to confuse the authorities. He even tried to
mislead the court by claiming he was a minor, but we
frustrated all his manoeuvres," Nikam (56), who has secured
life sentence for 615 accused and death penalty for 35 in his
career spanning over two decades, said.
"He (Kasab) is a trained commando and follows
al Qaeda manual which teaches a terrorist to misguide
authorities if they are arrested... this is exactly what
Kasab tried to do each time he was caught in a difficult
situation during the trial, Nikam said.
In the trial court, Kasab had taken several U-turns --
accepting his guilt and later retracting it -- while in the
High Court, he took everyone by surprise by seeking trial in a
US court, Nikam said.
To a question, Nikam said Kasab had never expressed
the desire to go to Pakistan and had been talking about facing
the trial in a court outside India. LeT had trained him to
confuse the authorities by making such demands, Nikam said.
The prosecutor described as "absurd" the plea of a
court in Pakistan to send Kasab for trial in that country.
"How can that be done as Kasab was tried in India. Unless he
serves the sentence here, the question of sending him to
Pakistan does not arise," Nikam said.
"The 26/11 trial was a great challenge for me -- not
only to establish the guilt of Kasab but also to expose the
veil of LeT which had used the security apparatus of Pakistan
to unleash terror in Mumbai," said Nikam.
"In the last two years, I spent most of the time in
Mumbai getting ready for the case. Only during weekends I
returned to Jalgaon, my home town, but even there I used to
prepare myself for the coming week. Everyday I got up at 4.00 am and prepared the day`s strategy in the court", Nikam said.
Asked how he felt as "the one man army" in the
prosecution, Nikam said he was getting used to it. "In the
trial, we have to maintain complete secrecy," said Nikam, who
was assisted by a team of more than a dozen police officers.