26/11 trial: The Kasab story

Updated: November 25, 2010 22:51 IST

Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist in Mumbai attacks, has been charged with killing 166 people, and injuring 304 others at the instance of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

26/11 trial: The Kasab story
India has been shaken repeatedly by terror attacks in recent years, but the attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, was by far the most devastating.

With more than 10 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks, 10 terrorists from Pakistan wreaked havoc across the city. They all were shot down, apart from one man – Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab.

Kasab, who was captured alive from Chowpatty on the first night of the attacks, has been charged with killing 166 people, including 25 foreigners, and injuring 304 others at the instance of Lashkar-e-Toiba, along with nine slain terrorists.

Through this photofeature, we take a look at how the trial of this Pakistan based 26/11 perpetrator unfolded.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab broke down in court when the 26/11 trial court awarded him the death sentence on five counts on Thursday, May 6, 2010. He has also been given a life term on five counts.

Kasab has been found guilty of murdering seven people, helping murder 159 others and waging war against India during a 62-hour siege beginning November 26, 2008.

Kasab was the only survivor of the 10 terrorists who seared their way through Mumbai during 26/11 killing 166 people and injuring over 300 others.

"The depravity of the 26/11 attacks is unspeakable... this man has lost the right to humanitarian benefits," said Judge M L Tahaliyani, explaining his decision to give the death sentence to the only terrorist caught alive during 26/11.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Kasab was given the death sentence for murder, abetment of - and conspiracy to - murder, waging war against the nation and terrorism.

The judge said, "Words cannot express the brutality of this crime." A recurring theme in the comments that accompanied his sentence: "There is no chance of reform or rehabilitation for this man."
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Public prosecutor and the man of the moment, Ujjwal Nikam, flashed a victory sign. Nikam slammed Kasab for his irreverent behavior all through the trial. Before the sentencing, Nikam recounted his reasons for seeking the death penalty for Kasab saying the Pakistani terrorist enjoyed the act of killing.

"Photographs of Kasab in action while firing at CST's passengers and shopkeepers showed that "he enjoyed the acts of murder," said Nikam.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Nikam laid out eight arguments on why Kasab deserves to be hanged, among them, that the 26/11 attacks was meticulously planned and that policemen and defenceless civilians were "mercilessly butchered." The prosecutor also argued that Kasab wanted to inspire others to take part in fidayeen or suicide attacks.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
The court rejected the arguments of the defence that Kasab was an impressionable 21-year-old who was brainwashed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) into executing 26/11. He chose, Judge Tahaliyani said, to train at Lashkar terror camps for months.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the trial and sentence awarded to Kasab sends a message to Pakistan that justice will be meted out to anyone waging war against this country. "I think the judge has come to the most appropriate conclusion which could send a positive message that anyone who wants to wage a war against India is caught and after going through a fair trial, he will find that justice will be meted out," he said.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Home Minister P Chidambaram congratulated the judicial system for a speedy trial in the Mumbai attacks case. Speaking on the judgement in Rajya Sabha, he said, "I am proud of our system,” adding that the country did not create any Guantanamo Bay or military court for Kasab's trial which was done in a normal court.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Minutes after hearing that Kasab had been sentenced to death, K Unnikrishnan shared his reaction with NDTV. It's not about vengeance, he said. His son, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, was among the commandos who died protecting Mumbai from Ajmal Kasab and the nine other Pakistani terrorists who carried out the attacks of 26/11.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
But 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare's wife Kavita Karkare still demands answers about her husband's death and the mystery of his missing bulletproof jacket. “It is definitely closer to justice, but this is just the beginning because now he will go to Supreme Court and as Hemant Karkare's wife, I strongly feel that we should not give him this opportunity. We should hang him immediately,” she said while reacting to the judgement.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Pakistan reacted in a guarded manner to the death sentence handed down to its national Ajmal Kasab by an Indian court for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, saying its legal experts would study the detailed judgement.

"We have seen in India the reported judgement on Ajmal Kasab and the sentence has been pronounced today. You will appreciate that our legal experts need to go through the detailed judgement," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
On Monday, May 3, 2010, 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. Charges against Kasab include: * Waging war against India * Terrorism * Murdering 7, abetting the killing of 159 * Conspiracy * Kidnapping * Causing explosions * Illegal use of arms * Breach of Railways Act, Customs Act * Robbery * Guilty on most of 86 counts.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Two Indian nationals, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed, accused of being members of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and surveying Mumbai before the attack were acquitted on May 3, 2010.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) welcomed the acquittal of Ansari and Sabahuddin claiming the decision shows that Indian authorities had "no proof of Pakistan's involvement" in the terrorist carnage. JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is wanted by India for allegedly masterminding the Mumbai attacks.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
The trial saw several twists and turns. Kasab's versions of his role in 26/11 became wilder as the trial progressed. In his confession recorded three months after his arrest, he was, policemen say, the most real they've known him to be. He talked about his small village in Faridkot in Pakistan, of a family desperate for money, of his indoctrination as a jihadi footsoldier.

Later, that confession was retracted.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Since the trial began about a year ago, Kasab has been lodged in a bullet and bomb-proof cell inside the jail especially designed to protect him from any attack. This cell is connected to the court by a tunnel which no bullet or bomb splinters can penetrate. The Pakistani gunman is guarded by a 200-strong contingent of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

The jail is divided into two sections - one housing the court and Kasab's cell and the other having 11 barracks, a jail hospital and an egg-shaped cell meant for high-profile inmates.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
On February 25, 2009, the prosecution filed a chargesheet that ran into some 11,000 pages and Anjali Waghmare was appointed Kasab's lawyer. More than 650 witnesses were examined during the trial that lasted nearly a year in a special court in the high-security prison where Kasab was held.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
On February 25, 2009, the prosecution filed a chargesheet that ran into some 11,000 pages and Anjali Waghmare was appointed Kasab's lawyer. More than 650 witnesses were examined during the trial that lasted nearly a year in a special court in the high-security prison where Kasab was held.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
The trial began on April 15, 2009 but Waghmare was removed as Kasab's lawyer. On April 16, 2009, S G Abbas Kazmi was appointed Kasab's lawyer. Kasab's confession opened in court on April 17, 2009. He later retracted it. On April 20, 2009, the prosecution charged Kasab on 312 counts. Kasab pleaded guilty.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Charges against Kasab were framed on May 6, 2009 and he was charged on 86 counts. On May 8, 2009, the first eyewitness in the case deposed before the court and identified Kasab.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Non-bailable warrants were issued against 22 absconding accused, includes Hafeez Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi on June 23, 2009. On July 20, 2009, Kasab does a u-turn, pleads guilty. Court does not take it on record.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Abbas Kazmi was removed as Kasab's lawyer on November 30, 2009. He was replaced by K P Pawar on December 1, 2009. The Prosecution completed its case in the 26/11 terror attack on December 16, 2009. But on December 18, 2009, Kasab denied all charges.
26/11 trial: The Kasab story
Final arguments in the case began on March 9, 2010. On March 31, 2010, the judgement was reserved for May 3, 2010, when Kasab was pronounced guilty.

Kasab was sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court on February 21 this year. The death penalty was later suspended after Kasab appealed against that sentence to the Supreme Court.

Kasab, in his mid-20s, is lodged in a special cell in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail, the construction of which alone cost the state exchequer over Rs 5.24 crore.

A whopping Rs 10.87 crore was spent between March 28, 2009, and September 30, 2010, for providing him security cover by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), she said. However, after the state government received the bill for Rs 10.87 crore to be paid towards deployment of ITBP, it wrote to the Centre expressing its inability to make the payment, saying Kasab's security was not Maharashtra's concern alone.

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