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Kasab To Be Sentenced On Thursday

Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 terror attacks, will be sentenced on Thursday by a special court with the prosecution demanding death penalty, branding him a killing machine manufactured in Pakistan.  Asserting
PTI May 04, 2010 21:04 IST

Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 terror attacks, will be sentenced on Thursday by a special court with the prosecution demanding death penalty, branding him a killing machine manufactured in Pakistan. 

Asserting that Kasab's case came under the rarest of rare category for giving death sentence, Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said Kasab was a heartless monster who laughed seeing innocent people dying in pain.

Making out a strong case for capital punishment, Nikam said if he was given lesser penalty "India will become a soft target for every self-styled terror group".

"There has been a high degree of cruelty and Kasab had total disregard for life. Kasab is a killing machine manufactured in Pakistan," he said.

In his arguments today on the quantum of sentence to the 22-year-old terrorist, Nikam told the jampacked anti-terror court in the Arthur Road jail that the crime committed by Kasab has shaken the collective consciousness of the society.

"He has lost the right to live," Nikam said describing Kasab as "heartless monster..he not only enjoyed killing innocent people but also expressed anger while confessing before a Magistrate that he could not execute more," Nikam argued before special judge M L Tahaliyani.

"Such a monster should be given death penalty.... He is an agent of devil himself".

During its arguments for over two hours, the prosecution contended that Kasab ruthlessly carried out the executions. "It was pre-meditated".

Defence counsel K P Pawar cited Kasab's young age and pleaded for leniency. He contended that Kasab was "blinded by religion and should be given a chance to reform".

Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and unshaven, Kasab kept his head bowed throughout Nikam's arguments, showing no emotions.

Seeking death for Kasab, the lone surviving gunman involved in the brazen attacks that left 166 people dead, Nikam said if he is not sent to the gallows, he would turn into a blood-thirsty wild animal.

He was not happy after killing 72 persons and wanted to kill more, the prosecutor said. Among those he killed were 14 police officials and helpless women and children.
Kasab was found guilty on more than 80 of the 86 charges brought against him for planning and executing the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Tahaliyani held him guilty of mass murder and waging war against India.

Nikam claimed Kasab was in a "joyous" mood seeing people dying in pain and agony after opening indiscriminate fire at the bustling Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and elsewhere on November 26, 2008.

"There was no remorse and he said in his confession before the magistrate that he wanted to inspire future fidayeens (suicide killers).

"If death is not awarded, it would be a mockery of justice," Nikam argued.

Kasab's lawyer contended that the militancy in Kashmir and the Godhra riots had an impact on the mind of young Kasab who was emotionally disturbed.

He said the circumstances in which Kasab had acted were mitigating. But this was countered by Nikam who said, on the contrary, the circumstances were aggravating.

The prosecution said the attacks were "pre-meditated, involving extreme brutality and cruelty by Kasab and his associates".

"Kasab has killed helpless and defenceless persons including Hindus and Muslims, Jews and Christians and members of the police force who were on duty," Nikam said.

Nikam said Kasab had shown "high degree of brutality" when he mercilessly murdered Amarsinh Solanki, the navigator of Kuber boat by which he and others came from Karachi to mount the terror attacks.

"Kasab asked his colleagues to hold Solanki's hands and legs while he slit open his throat like a butcher as his name suggests," Nikam said.

Nikam said the convicted terrorist had shown no remorse for his acts and on the contrary told a Magistrate that he was confessing because he wanted to inspire more "Fidayeens" (suicide killers) to follow him.

Nikam said Kasab had expressed disappointment that he had landed at the CST after the rush hour. Kasab had anticipated a busier station, based on CDs he had been shown of CST before the attack.

He said the the group was supposed to reach CST before 8 P.M but could do so only at 9.30 P.M.

The prosecution also said that in his confession to the Mumbai police, Kasab said that he was upset that he could not kill more people at the station. At CST alone, Kasab killed close to 60 people in an hour with his partner, Abu Ismael.

Nikam cited nine Supreme Court judgements to show that the case fell under the rarest of rare category in which death penalty was necessary.

Emerging from the court, Nikam told reporters that he had cited eight reasons to drive home his point that Kasab should be hanged.

He said the 26/11 attacks were a result of a "pre-planned conspiracy hatched in Pakistan".

Kasab and Ismael had opened indiscriminate firing without anyone provoking them, he contended. PTI