Chavan, Maharashtra leaders welcome Kasab verdict


Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan Monday welcomed the verdict convicting Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole survivor of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who staged a 60-hour Mumbai attack Nov 26-28, 2008.

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“This verdict is of great significance and I congratulate the police and the justice dispensing system,” he said.

Chavan also appreciated the efforts of special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam in directing the state case to a positive outcome. He expressed the hope that Kasab would be given severest of punishment which would be in accordance with the wishes of the families of the victims and the survivors.

Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal felt that the court’s decision on Kasab has raised the prestige and honour of Indian law and judiciary system in the world. “It has proved that in India, law and judiciary system is supreme.”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Kasab should be hanged as soon as possible. He criticised the government for the acquittal of the two Indian accused, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, and said “it is a failure of the government and the police”.

“The government and police should not take credit for Kasab’s prosecution. The real credit goes to shaheed (martyr) Tukaram Omble,” he added. Raut was referring to the police constable who ensured Kasab’s capture, though at the cost of his own life.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the judgment was justified.

“There is nothing new or unexpected. Although in the case of Ansari and Ahmed, we think the government and the police might have failed in presenting the case properly. They might have not gathered proper evidence, or must not have presented it in proper perspective. We will take some time to study the entire judgement and then raise relevant questions.”

Samajwadi Party’s youth wing chief Farook Ghosi said the judgment was called for. “We, as a party support the judgment. As for the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed, we respect the court’s verdict. Lack of evidence means the accused is not guilty.”

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s spokesperson Shirish Parker also gave a thumbs up to the verdict.

“This is expected and called for. We were waiting for the verdict and think Kasab should be hanged till death.”

Congress spokesperson Hussain Dalvai said it is a welcome verdict. “We welcome the verdict given by the special court. The party is glad it happened in a fast track court. The verdict is a warning to those terrorists groups who plan to attack India.”

“As for the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed, we have to accept the court’s verdict,” he added.