Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, was hanged to death Wednesday, two weeks after his mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Kasab, 25, was executed at Pune’s Yerwada Jail at 7:30 a.m. local time. "All the legal procedures in the 26/11 terror attacks case were completed… Accordingly, Kasab has been hanged this morning at 7.30 a.m. in Yerawada Central Jail," Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil told reporters in Mumbai, PTI reported.
Kasab had exhausted all means to stay alive after he was sentenced to death by a trial court in 2010 for the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 and injured 300 others Nov 26, 2008. The verdict was upheld in upper courts and his petition seeking clemency was first rejected by the Home Ministry of Maharashtra state and then by the President of India, leading to his execution.
Complete secrecy was maintained on the execution to avoid complications. Except for the jailor, deputy jailor and the jail doctor, none at the jail were aware of the identity of the convict being hanged. Even the specialized hangman who was summoned for the purpose had been kept in the dark about the identity of the convict until a few minutes before the execution.
"The jail authorities were only told that a high-profile accused is being brought to Yerwada. His identity was not revealed. Kasab was lodged in an isolated egg-shaped cell guarded by ITBP personnel," the official told the Times of India.
Final Moments Of Kasab
Kasab was brought to the Yerwada Jail late Sunday night from his special cell in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, where he had been kept ever since his arrest in 2008. According to an NDTV report, all procedures laid down in the jail manual regarding the execution was followed.
Kasab appeared extremely nervous and worried but remained quite in his final days after he had learnt about his execution. He did not talk much but asked the authorities if there was room for further appeals, according to a Rediff.com report which quoted official sources. When he realized that there was no room for further appeals, Kasab remained quiet.
He was asked whether he would like to talk to his family in Pakistan for which he said “no.” However, he said his mother should be informed of his death sentence and asked the authorities whether the communication was sent, to which the jail authorities answered in the affirmative.
Before the execution, Kasab had been asked whether he had any last wish to which he replied in the negative. He also said “no” when asked whether he would like to leave a will.
Kasab offered prayers before entering the gallows.
The entire process of execution went smoothly and the jail doctor checked and certified him dead after which he was buried on the jail premises, PTI reported.
Authorities have kept the identity of the hangman secret to avoid unnecessary trouble for him.