Mumbai : “We want to see Kasab hanged!” This was the dominant sentiment in Mumbai Monday after a Special Court pronounced Pakistan’s Ajmal Amir Kasab guilty of murder in the 26/11 terror attack.
Kasab was declared guilty on all 86 charges, including waging war on India, by a Special Court, which however acquitted two Indian co-accused – Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.
Survivors of the traumatic Nov 26-29 mayhem as well as family members and friends of those killed in the attack greeted the guilty verdict against the Pakistani.
Everyone was insistent that no leniency should be shown to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, who was one of 10 heavily armed Pakistanis who sneaked into Mumbai by the sea and went on a killing spree.
Manasi Shinde, widow of a senior railway police inspector who was killed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, was confident Kasab would get the death sentence.
“I am glad Kasab was found guilty. I will be at peace only after the punishment to Kasab is awarded and implemented,” she said.
Agreed 60-year-old Mohammed Hanif Peer Mohammed. “Although the judgement is out and the accused (Kasab) has been found guilty, I want to see him hanged to death,” he said. “He killed my sister’s husband at CST.”
Among other things, Kasab has been found guilty of killing 59 people directly and indirectly in the carnage that saw 166 Indians and foreigners slaughtered. Another 294 people were injured, many seriously.
Deepak Bhonsale, son of assistant sub-inspector Balasaheb Bhonsale, another victim of the terror attack, spoke on similar lines: “Now that Kasab has been found guilty, no pity should be shown to him. His death is the only way to pay tribute to those policemen who laid down their lives fighting the terrorists.”
Ragini S. Sharma, widow of another slain railway officer, Sushilkumar Sharma, added: “This is what Kasab deserves. But the verdict will be acceptable only if it is a death sentence.”
The lawyer fraternity reacted similarly when it came to the verdict against Kasab, whose sentence will be given Tuesday. But on the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed, they were reserved in their comments.
“Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani is a very respectable judge. I am sure there were very convincing reasons to acquit them,” said Abad Ponda, an eminent criminal lawyer.
Another criminal lawyer, Samsher Garud, said he saw the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed coming. “There were no eyewitnesses or direct evidence. This was bound to happen.
“As for Kasab, there has to be a death sentence. We might be setting a wrong precedent otherwise,” added Garud.