Kasab executed amid secrecy in Pune’s Yerwada central jail

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25-year-old’s body buried inside the jail complex

Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone captured perpetrator of the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, was hanged to death at 7:30 am on Wednesday in a secret execution at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. His body has been buried inside the jail complex.

As the news of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist’s hanging spread in the city, scores of people thronged at the fortified prison with dozens of police men keeping a strict vigil on the movement of the crowds.

The scene at the high security prison turned celebratory with slogan shouting crowds distributing sweets. “Finally, justice has been done,” Mohanrao Shinde Sarkar, president of Pune unit of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who made a brief speech outside the prison gate told Financial Chronicle. The crowds were happy that finally the law had caught up with the terrorist, sending a stern message across the border to Pakistan, where the conspiracy for the terrorist attack was hatched.

The 25-year-old was the only terrorist out of 10 caught alive during the 26/11 attack in 2008 on Mumbai, the financial capital of India and was secretly brought to Pune from Arthur Road prison in Mumbai some days ago.

Sarkar said now the souls of 166 people, who were killed over three days of terror, when 10 men from Pakistan sailed into Mumbai in November 2008 could rest in peace. President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected Kasab’s mercy petition on November 5, but the execution was kept under wraps.

An hour after his hanging, Maharashtra home minister RR Patil told reporters in Mumbai, “I sincerely believe this is a tribute to all innocent people and the officers who lost their lives in the Mumbai attacks.” He said Kasab’s family in Pakistan and the Pakistan government were informed through the Indian High Commission.

According to police Yerwada Jail is one of the two prisons in Maharashtra where prisoners on death row are hanged. Meera Borwankar, additional director general of police (prisons), and Yogesh Desai, in-charge of Yerwada Central Jail said they were not authorised to speak to the media.

“During the lengthy judicial trial, the terrorist was given full opportunity to defend himself. The hanging to death has established the fact that no one can escape the long arm of the law, however slowly the wheels of justice may grind,” Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor, who appeared for police in the case told Financial Chronicle.

“The terrorists’ attack was an attack on every Indian, whom I represented in the court and every Indian will be relieved with his hanging,” he said.

Since his arrest in 2008, Kasab was kept in the bulletproof cell in the Mumbai jail. The Bombay HC sentenced him to death in October last year. He was convicted on charges ranging from treason to waging war against India. He then appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled against him in August 29 this year.

As Kasab’s trial continued over four-years in various courts, the cost of keeping him alive was a huge burden on the state exchequer. The government has spent over Rs 5 crore on his high security cell at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.

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