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The face of 26/11 attack: Who is Ajmal Kasab?

by FP Staff  Aug 29, 2012 10:28 IST

#26/11 Mumbai attacks   #Ajmal Kasab   #WhoIsThis  

The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict today on 26/11 gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab’s plea against his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the face of the Mumbai terror attacks, is the only surviving terrorist among the 10 who crossed the sea from Karachi to wreak havoc on the country’s financial capital.

Ajmal was born in Faridkot village in Dipalpur tehsil of Okara district in Pakistan’s Punjab province in 1987. He is the third of five children, says a report in Economic Times.

Ajmal dropped out of school because of poverty.  At the age of 13, he went to live with his elder brother in Lahore.

Agencies

The Hindu reports, For several years, Ajmal shuttled between the homes of his brother and parents till he fought with his parents in 2005. He then left home with the determination of never returning.

For a year he stayed at the shrine of  Saint Syed Ali, and in 2007 he began earning by working as a labourer. But, soon Ajmal started spending time with small-time criminals in Lahore. From petty crimes, Ajmal moved to armed robbery.

An Indian Express report states, once when Ajmal and his friend went to a local market in Rawalpindi to purchase weapons, they saw activists of the LeT handing out pamphlets and posters about the organisation and activities. Ajmal decided to join the group. However, reports also claimed that Kasab's father had asked him to join Lashkar-e-Taiba so that he could use the money they gave him to run the family. When asked about this, Kasab's father told Pakistan's newspaper Dawn, "I don't sell my sons."

As a foot soldier of the LeT, Ajmal was shown films on India's purported atrocities in Kashmir, and fiery lectures of Lashkar chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

He then started seeing jihad as a purpose and means to gain respectability in his society.

Ajmal was chosen for the Lashkar's basic combat course, the Daura-e-Aam. He performed well and was among a small group of 32 men selected to undergo advanced training at a camp near Manshera for the second level training called the Daura-e-Khaas.

Ajmal has also told investigators that commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi promised that his family would be financially rewarded for his sacrifice.

While the other nine terrorists were killed during the operation in Mumbai, Ajmal lived to tell the story.

New York Post reported that Kasab told the police that he was trained to "kill to the last breath". When he was arrested, he pleaded with the medical staff: "I do not want to die. Put me on saline". Later, after interrogation in the hospital by the police, he requested the interrogators to kill him for the safety of his family in Pakistan who could be killed or tortured because of his surrender to Indian police.

25-year-old Kasab had filed the appeal from jail, challenging his conviction and death sentence. The apex court had appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae to argue on behalf of Kasab. Will Kasab be given the death sentence? The Supreme Court will decide today.