Ajmal Kasab, the only militant to have survived the Nov. 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack, was hanged Wednesday morning, R.R. Patil, home minister of India’s Maharashtra state, said.
Kasab, a Pakistani national whose mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee Nov. 5, was hanged at Pune's Yerawada Jail at 7.30 a.m. Wednesday.
"Kasab's hanging is a tribute to all the 166 people killed, as well as those police officers martyred in the attack," said Patil, according to DNA.
"Today, 7:30 a.m., Ajmal Kasab was hanged in the Yerawada prison," Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said later.
"Of the 10 people who attacked Mumbai, one was arrested alive. Just as I landed from the Interpol meeting in Rome on Nov. 5, the mercy petition lay before me. We had recommended that his mercy petition be rejected. Later, it was rejected by the president on Nov. 7, and the file was sent to the Maharashtra government on Nov. 8. Following this, the date of Nov. 21 was set for the hanging," he was quoted as saying by DNA.
Shinde said Pakistan was informed Tuesday about the hanging. “The Pakistani high commission was informed of the decision to hang Kasab, but it was ignored."
Pakistan had not demanded Kasab's body, he said in reply to a specific question.
Kasab's body had been buried on the premises of Yerawada Jail, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.
Chavan said secrecy had been maintained over the execution taking into account the security situation, according to CNN-IBN.
As many as 166 people were killed when Lashkar-e-Taiba militants attacked different targets in India’s financial hub Nov. 26, 2008. More than 300 people were injured in the attacks.
Many political parties in the country welcomed Kasab’s hanging. "It is a warning for those trying to instigate terror attacks in India, as well as succor for those who have suffered due to these attacks," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was quoted as saying by DNA.
“Finally Kasab hanged. GOI [Government of India] should pursue the case of the Handlers in Pakistan,” Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tweeted.
With Kasab’s execution, India has ended an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment. The last execution in the country took place in 2004 when Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in Kolkata in a rape and murder case.