6:15 pm: Kasab‘s hanging doesn’t make headlines in Pakistan
Hours after the hanging of Ajmal Kasab in India, the news was no longer among the main headlines on the Pakistani channels, having been replaced by the events in Gaza and domestic developments.
Though state-run Radio Pakistan and private networks like Geo News led their morning bulletins with the development, by the afternoon it was no longer a major story.
The cautious handling by the news channels of the early morning execution of 25-year-old Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, reflected the muted response in the public sphere.
Most news outlets, including TV channels and websites of leading newspapers like Dawn and The Express Tribune, reported the event without offering any comment or analysis.
“There was a general impression that Kasab, like Afzal Guru, would not be hanged but this development has obviously put Pakistan in a bit of a shock,” said Raza Rumi, editor of The Friday Times, while referring to the man sentenced to death for the 2001 attack on India’s Parliament.
“Most Pakistanis have condemned the Mumbai attacks and, given the evidence, they will not react adversely to this hanging. However, a larger question remains and that deals with tackling extremism on both sides of the border which unfortunately is hostage to nation-state narratives,” Rumi told PTI.
Other analysts too contended that Kasab’s hanging was unlikely to impact India-Pakistan relations at a time when leaders of both countries have been pushing for increased trade and people-to-people contacts.
President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday confirmed Pakistan’s ratification of a new landmark visa agreement with India that creates new visa categories for tourists, businessmen and pilgrims. PTI
5:15 pm: Kasab enters Mumbai on Wednesday, hung on the same day four years later
Random trivia time! Did you know Kasab entered Mumbai on 26 November 2008, which was a Wednesday?
And guess when he died? Again a Wednesday! (This factoid comes to us courtesy PTI)
4:15 pm: Kasab’s family wants his body to be returned to Pakistan
While the Pakistani government may have shown no interest in getting back the body of the gunman, Kasab’s family have sought that his body be returned to the country.
“This news is hell for us,” Shahnaz Sughra, Kasab’s aunt, told Reuters by phone.
“…Even if he did something wrong, we just want his body. Even if he did something wrong, I am proud that he taught the enemy a lesson in their own country,” she said.
Another friend described him as being a happy, playful child who came from humble beginnings.
Read the complete profile of the gunman here.
3: 15 pm: Were Kasab’s last words “May Allah forgive me” ?
He may not have left a will or a parting letter, but before he died Pakistani gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab reportedly sought forgiveness from God and asked for forgiveness, IBN 7 reported.
“May Allah forgive me,” he reportedly told the an official at Yeravada jail before he was hanged, the channel reported.
“Such a mistake will never occur again,” he reportedly said.
1: 45 pm: Pakistan says that it had received note from India about Kasab hanging
Pakistan claims the note regarding Ajmal Kasab’s execution was “received” and “acknowledged”, and has rejected India’s claim that the communication was not accepted.
In a brief statement, the Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson said the nation condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and was willing to cooperate with all countries to eliminate the scourge.
1:30 pm: Is India going too far in celebrating Kasab’s hanging?
Not everyone is rejoicing over the Kasab hanging. Firstpost’s G Pramod Kumar in his article has pointed out how the Indian government by hanging the gunman has bucked the international trend of abolishing the death penalty (Read more here)
Even IBN Lokmat’s Nikhil Wagle has pointed out that the hysteria over the hanging seems a little over the top. On Twitter he pointed out that lighting fireworks to celebrate it wasn’t really appropriate:
I can understand people’s sentiment about kasab’s hanging. But distributing sweets n burning crackers is too much. Are we celebrating DEATH?
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) नवम्बर 21, 2012
Even actor Ashish Chowdhry, who incidentally lost his sister in the 26/11 terror strikes, said that celebrating a death in this manner wasn’t really appropriate:
I will NOT teach my children to rejoice anyone’s death;be it Kasab.They will learn to be non-vindictive,non-fanatical and will love all.
— Ashish Chowdhry (@AshishChowdhry) नवम्बर 21, 2012
1:10 pm: Anna Hazare says Kasab should have been hung publicly, Taliban ‘shocked’
‘Gandhian’ Anna Hazare has welcomed the death penalty for Kasab and says the gunman should have been hung in public:
Anna: its taken too long to hang Kasab. He should have been hanged in public (chauraha)
— ANI (@ANI_news) नवम्बर 21, 2012
Anna: its taken too long to hang Kasab. He should have been hanged in public (chauraha)
— ANI (@ANI_news) नवम्बर 21, 2012
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban has said they are ‘shocked’ the decision to hang Kasab:
FLASH: Pakistani Taliban express “shock” over India’s execution of Ajmal #Kasab
— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) नवम्बर 21, 2012
Given its a terror group accused of shooting a girl, seems like a slightly muted response this.
12:35 pm: LeT promises reprisal for hanging for Kasab
Reuters reports that a senior commander of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba has proclaimed the dead gunman a ‘hero’ and said that he will continue to inspire more attacks in the future.
“He was a hero and will inspire other fighters to follow his path,” the commander of the Pakistani militant group accused of masterminding the attack told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
A Hindu article, documents the response in Pakistan after the news of Kasab’s hanging was announced. According to the report, the news dropped down in the headlines as the day progressed, unlike in India, where it continues to be a screaming headline.
The article also documents how the village in Faridkot, Pakistan is staying away from speaking about Kasab.
12:30 pm: Expectedly @DeadKasab appears on Twitter
Not the most tasteful of things to emerge since the hanging of the gunman, a Twitter handle with the name @DeadKasab is already active on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
He did manage to raise a few laughs though, with a location titled ‘Hell’ and with a status message : “I am dead and no I didn’t get to see an apsara in the hell.”
12:20 pm: Should India expect attacks on embassies, terror strikes as reprisal for Kasab’s execution?
According to B Raman, a former Additional secretary, Indian embassies particularly those in countries like Afghanistan should be fortified given the possibility of reprisals from terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and other allied terror groups.
In a blog post, he has warned of potential terror strikes in areas like Pune as reprisal for the execution.
12:00 pm: Kasab was to be buried at sea like Osama?
Was Kasab supposed to be originally buried at sea? DNA’s chief of Delhi bureau tweets that the government was toying with the idea of burying the gunman like Osama at sea but abandoned it in favour of the Yerawada jail:
A suggestion was made about burying #Kasab at sea like Osama Bin Laden but was finally rejected in favour of Yerawada Jail.
— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) नवम्बर 21, 2012
And apparently he’s not the first terror linked convict to be buried in a jail, says Open magazine’s Rahul Pandita:
Ajmal Kasab is not the first terrorist to be buried inside jail premises. That goes to JKLF terrorist Maqbool Butt, hanged in Tihar in 1984.
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) नवम्बर 21, 2012
11:55 pm: Congress also welcomes Kasab’s execution, seeks expediting of Afzal Guru’s case
“I welcome it. Now the government of India should pursue the case against the handlers in Pakistan. They should expedite the decision on Afzal Guru,” said party general secretary Digvijay Singh.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the law has taken its own course in the case.
“A dastardly terrorist act was perpetrated. An investigative process that culminated in a multi-layered fair judicial process playing itself out right upto the Supreme Court, the law has taken its own course,” Tewari said.PTI
11:45 pm: Shiv Sena takes credit, says Kasab’s hanging a tribute to Bal Thackeray
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday, a political party that has nothing to do with the incident takes credit for it. Wait you do.
The Shiv Sena has said that the execution was a tribute to recently deceased leader Bal Thackeray, who admittedly has been seeking the death penalty for the gunman. Unfortunately, he can’t claim to be the only one.
“This is the biggest tribute to Bala Saheb by the govt. Today Bal Thackeray would be very happy,” party MP Sanjay Raut was reported as saying by CNN IBN.
11:30 am: Victims of 26/11 welcome the death sentence for Kasab
Victims of the November 2008 terror strikes, who lost family members to the attacks, have welcomed the decision to carry out the death sentence for Kasab.
The brother of the police official responsible for helping nab the gunman welcomed the decision to carry out the death sentence.
“We were waiting for this day. I am glad that today the President and the Home minister took the right decision. A terrorist like Kasab should have been hanged in public,” Eknath Omble, brother of slain police official Tukaram Omble, told reporters.
Smita Salaskar, wife of police official Vijay Salaskar who was killed by Kasab, also welcomed the decision.
“I was losing hope, everyday I used to think when will he be hanged. I used to tell Divya (daughter) that I will pass away but this man will nt get hanged,” she told CNN IBN.
Another woman who lost her husband in the terror strike at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus echoed a similar sentiment.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is what happened is good. We are happy that we have got justice,” Ragini Sharma, whose husband S K Sharma was killed in the 2008 terror strike, said.
“I would like to thank the President. However, it got delayed but we did get justice. I am happy that it (the hanging) was done secretly, otherwide some human rights people would have opposed it,” she said.
Vishnu Zende, an railway announcer at the Chhtrapati Shivaji Terminus on the night of the terror strikes said, “I had never thought that I would get to hear this news like this. I am very happy that he has been hanged. All the people who died in the terror attack have been given tribute by hanging him.”
11.11 am: Impromptu celebrations in several Indian cities at news of Kasab’s death
News of Kasab’s execution earlier this morning has prompted celebrations across the country.
ANI reported impromptu street side celebrations in Ahmedabad, Gorakhpur and Agra after news of Kasab’s hanging spread, while there were also firecrackers in Pune.
PTI reported that people had started crowding in front of the Yerawada central prison here as soon as the news of the execution spread. A group of Shiv Sena workers raised slogans of ‘Vande
Mataram’ hailing the hanging of Kasab and demanded the same justice to Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.
10.30 am: By attempting to inform Pakistan, our obligations were carried out: Salman Khurshid
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that India attempted to inform Pakistan of its decision to hang 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab before the sentencing was carried out, and in doing so, had discharged its obligations in the proper manner, although Pakistan had refused to accept the letter.
“We attempted to convey to Pakistan Foreign Office about the execution but since the messages were not accepted, we indicated it”, said Khurshid.
The External Affairs Minister said that they had also taken the necessary steps to inform Kasab’s family of the decision.
He added that he hoped that the 26/11 commission in Pakistan would conduct its investigations in the same impartial manner that the legal process was followed in India.
10.11 am: Kasab buried at Pune’s Yerawada Jail
Mahasrashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said that Kasab has been buried at the Yerawada jail where he was executed earlier this morning.
Giving the media details of the execution, Chavan said that Kasab had been shifted to the Yerawada prison two days before his execution, and that the hanging had been carried out in accordance with the guidelines set out in the prison manual.
“The Execution of Kasab shows that the rule of law exists in India. Lawyers and police worked hard on this case”, he added.
PTI reported that scores of people had started crowding in front of the Yerawada jail as soon as the news spread about the execution. A heavy security cordon has been put in place around the prison where the hanging was carried out this morning.
A group of Shiv Sena workers raised slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and demanded the same justice to Afzal Guru.
Meanwhile Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters that the date and time of Kasab’s execution had been decided by the court, and simply confirmed by the Home Affairs Ministry. “There is no question of mileage. This was already decided and the date was fixed later on. The date of the execution was decided by the court earlier and it was on the file earlier so we confirmed it”, he said.
“The mercy petition came to the home ministry and we sent the file to President on 16 October. The file came from the President on 5 November. I was in Delhi on 7 November and I saw the file was on my table so I immediately signed it”, he added.
The Home Secretary who was also at the briefing added that in addition to sending a letter to the Pakistan High Commission, they had sent a courier to Kasab’s family in Pakistan through courier and had confirmation that it had been received.
10.02 am: Kasab to be buried in ‘undisclosed’ location?
The Home Ministry has said that they have informed the Pakistani government about the death of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman involved in the November 2008 terror to be caught alive. However, given the manner in which the Pakistani government refused to accept the body of the nine other gunmen killed in the attack, it is unlikely they will accept Kasab’s body.
In fact the PTI news agency just reported that the Indian mission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistan government about Kasab’s hanging via letter, but that Pakistan had refused to take it.
Like in the case of the nine other gunmen, Kasab could also be buried in an undisclosed location.
In the case of the nine other gunmen, many Muslim groups had said they would not allow the burial of the gunmen in any traditional burial ground. However, secretly the state government chose an alternate burial site and then buried all nine bodies there. Read more about that here.
Whether Kasab’s body will face a similar fate remains to be seen.
9.27 am: Pak ‘respects’ India’s judicial process over Kasab death
The first reactions to Kasab’s death have come in from Pakistan, with press sources saying that they respect India’s judicial process.
CNN IBN quoted a Pakistani press source as saying, “We respect judicial process in India. We have everything is done under proper scrutiny. Our understanding says President has jumped the queue in rejecting the mercy petition of Ajmal Kasab and till last minute it was under wraps. We don’t deny any repercussion on Sarabjits pending mercy petition on this.”
However the PTI news agency just reported that the Indian mission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistan government about Kasab’s hanging via letter, but that Pakistan had refused to take it.
Meanwhile one of the lawyers on the Pakistani panel probing the 26/11 attacks saying that had Kasab been alive, he could have provided them with invaluable evidence, and questioned if the hanging had a political dimension.
“If Kasab was produced in a Pakistan court or if he was produced access to the commission for the recording of his evidence, then it might have been a piece of evidence . This may have a political dimension, whereas in Pakistan, we have an independent judicial system. I believe Kasab would have an absolute chance to a fair trial here”, he was quoted by CNN-IBN as saying.
The new panel was constituted after a Pakistani anti-terrorism court declared illegal the findings of a Pakistani commission that probed the attacks immediately after 26/11.
Pakistani authorities had sent two requests to India in August, asking it to allow Pakistani defence lawyers to cross-examine key witnesses including Ajmal Kasab, saying any failure to do so could allow the accused in the country to go scot-free.
In a message sent to Indian authorities through diplomatic channels on 20 July, the Federal Investigation Agency asked that the defence counsel should be allowed to cross-examine surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab, chief investigation officer Ramesh Mahale, and Ganesh Dhunraj and Chintaman Mohite, the two doctors who performed the autopsies of slain attackers.
9.23 am: ‘President used his constitutional powers to reject Kasab’s mercy plea’
The Press secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee said Mukherjee had used his constitutional powers to reject Ajmal Kasab’s mercy petition. Speaking to the media he said, “This decision was taken a few weeks back . and communicated to the ministry of home affairs consequent to which necessary action was taken. After examining the pettion and taking into consideration the views expressed by the Government of India, the President has rejected the petition.
9.07 am: Kasab had no last wish or will
CNN-IBN quoting jail sources had said that Kasab had reportedly told them that he had no last will or wish before he was executed, and that the entire procedure had been explained to him before it was carried out.
Meanwhile reacting to the news, the BJP said that the welcomed the execution, but that it had come very late. They did say however that the execution was a strong response to terror from across the border.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah used the occasion to display his cynicism for the media.
Now we’ll watch all the channels line up to claim that THEY were the ones to break the news of the hanging.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) नवम्बर 21, 2012
8.58 am: Kasab to be buried in Pakistan?
Even as the nation reels from an early morning revelation that the lone surviving gunman from the 26/11 attacks, Ajmal Kasab,was executed in great secrecy, there is already heavy speculation on where he will be buried. Executive Editor of IBN 7, Mritunjoy K Jha tweeted that he would not be buried in his native Pakistan:
Kasab’s Deadbody will not be handed over to Pakistan. It is not decided yet where wud he be burried
— Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha (@Mrityunjoykjha) नवम्बर 21, 2012
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told media that they would hand over Kasab’s body to Pakistan if they asked for it. “We have informed the Pakistan government”, he said.
8:45 am: ‘Due process of law was followed’, says RR Patil
Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil in a media interaction confirmed that Kasab’s plea had been rejected by the President on 8 November and that he being the only militant to have survived the 2008 attacks,was hanged at 7:30 am this morning. He added that the due process of law had been followed as the special 26/11 court awarded death penalty to Kasab, which was upheld by the Supreme Court. He filed a mercy petition, but it was rejected, following which the government took around three weeks to prepare for his execution.
Following the President’s rejection on 8 Nov, Kasab was moved from the Mumbai Arthur Jail to Yerawada Jail in Pune on Monday night.
Patil also said that Kasab has been declared dead by doctors., but the location of his burial is yet to be decided.
Ajmal Kasab hanged at Yerawada Jail in Pune, confirms R R Patil
8:27 am Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, was today hanged at the Yerawada Jail in Pune at 7:30 am after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil confirmed that Kasab was executed this morning and that the President had rejected Kasab’s mercy plea on 8 November. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too confirmed the hanging.
The ministry will soon address the media to formally announce the execution.
Majid Memon, senior lawyer, in an interview with Times Now said that Kasab’s execution should have happened earlier but better late than never.”This will be a good message to Pakistan.”
In September, the Maharashtra Home Ministry had recommended that the mercy plea be rejected.
Kasab was discreetly moved from Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail to Pune’s Yerawada Jail last night.
The President’s rejection came two months after the Home ministry rejected Kasab’s mercy petition.
Kasab’s death sentence had been confirmed by the Supreme Court and his clemency petition was pending with the President’s office.
Kasab and nine other Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had sailed into Mumbai on November 26, 2008 from Karachi and killed 166 people.
The Mumbai trial court had on May 6, 2010 awarded death sentence to Kasab which was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011. The apex court rejected his appeal on August 29.