26/11 attacks: ‘Kasab deserves death’



26/11 attacks: ‘Kasab deserves death’ New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the arrest of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab proved crucial as he disclosed that the conspiracy in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case was hatched in Pakistan.

"Had Kasab not been caught alive, then it would not have been possible to know that outsiders were involved in the mayhem and confusion would have percolated that it was done by insiders," former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the state government, submitted before a bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad.

Subramaniam, along with special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, said, "The entire criminal conspiracy for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was hatched in Pakistan" and among the 10 terrorists involved in the carnage, the first casualty had come from the hands of Kasab, who had killed the navigator of the Indian boat used by them on way to reach Mumbai.

"Kasab, who was apprehended at Chaupati the same night, made a disclosure that he beheaded the navigator of the Indian boat, Kuber, used by him and nine of his accomplices to reach at Budhawar Park in Mumbai," they said, while refuting the allegation that 24-year-old Kasab, the sole convict in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, was not given fair trial.

Prosecution asserted that the death sentence awarded to Kasab was a permissible means of punishment for the offence and cited the barbaric and cruel manner in which the navigator of Kuber, Amar Singh Solanki, was beheaded by him.

"Police, which had toed the vessel, had found that Solanki was killed in a cruel manner," they said and narrated the entire sequence of events, starting from the conspiracy hatched in Pakistan by Lashkar-e-Toiba to the day of incident in which 166 people were killed.

Subramaniam contended that Kasab was never tortured or maltreated and there has been no violation of his constitutional rights.

"At no point of time Kasab was tortured or maltreated by the authorities and there has been no failure of constitutional rights given to him," Subrananiam submitted.

He said in pursuance of the conspiracy, Kasab and nine deceased terrorists, who were supposed to land at 7.30 pm, had landed at Budhawar Park at 9.30 pm by the Kuber boat which they had abandoned four nautical miles from Mumbai and had taken a fast moving rubber boat to reach Budhawar Park.

The prosecutors said out of the 10 terrorists, two had gone to the Nariman Point to attack Hotel Oberoi Trident.

They said disclosure made by Kasab was passed over to the Coastal Guards and a chopper was put in service to locate Kuber.

Kasab had yesterday pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who has been appointed amicus curiae by the apex court to defend Kasab, had told the bench that he was not a part of the larger conspiracy for waging war against the nation.

Stressing on Kasab's age as an important factor to commute his sentence, he had pleaded for a lenient approach as he was drawn into it as a result of exploitation of religious faith and false ideology.

Maintaining that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against Kasab beyond doubts, he had said that his right against self-incrimination as well as his right to get himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial.

The apex court had on October 10 last year stayed the death sentence of Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the November 2008 Mumbai attack.

In the special leave petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court judgement, Kasab had claimed he was brainwashed like a "robot" into committing the heinous crime in the name of "God" and that he does not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age.

Kasab, who is lodged in Arthur Road prison in Mumbai, had moved the SLP through the jail authorities. He had challenged his conviction and death sentence in the terror attack case.

Kasab, along with nine other Pakistani terrorists, had landed in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008, night after travelling from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various city landmarks.

While Kasab was captured, the other terrorists in the group were killed by security forces during the counter-terror operations. He was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May 6, 2010.

The Bombay High Court had on February 21, last year, upheld the trial court order of death sentence to Kasab for the "brutal and diabolical" attacks aimed at "destabilising" the government.

Kasab's death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law -- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The High Court had upheld Kasab's conviction on 19 counts under the IPC, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Foreigners Act, Passport Act and Railway Act.

PTI