Thursday, 6 May 2010
At Last Kasab sentenced to death
Judge M.L. Tahaliyani imposed the death penalty against Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab on four counts of murder, waging war against India and conspiracy and terrorism of fences.
"He should be hanged by the neck until he is dead," he said. "I don't find any case for a lesser punishment than death in the case of waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts."
Kasab, 22, dressed in a traditional white tunic, sat with his head in his hands staring at the floor of the dock as the judge issued the sentence, three days after the Pakistani's conviction on Monday.
Tahaliyani said the evidence showed "previous, meticulous and systematic planning" of the atrocity, which left 166 people dead and hundreds injured and led India to halt peace talks with its arch-rival Pakistan.
"Brutality was writ large," he added, and the offences were "of exceptional depravity."
Branded a "killing machine" and "cruelty incarnate" by the prosecution, Kasab was the only gunman caught alive in the 60-hour assault by 10 Islamists on hotels, a railway station, a restaurant and Jewish centre.
Observers say the death penalty is likely to trigger a lengthy, possibly open-ended, appeal through the Indian courts.
The government officially supports capital punishment for what the Supreme Court in New Delhi has called the "rarest of rare" cases but no execution has been carried out since 2004 and only two since 1998.