Mumbai: Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attack and a member of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was hanged at Pune's Yerawada jail at 7.30 am on Wednesday and later buried inside the jail premises. A fax message on the decision taken on Kasab was sent to Pakistan's foreign ministry. While Pakistan acknowledged the fax, it has not claimed Kasab's body.
Kasab's mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 5. The execution order was signed by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on November 7 and forwarded to Yerwada jail authorities on November 8.
Kasab was reportedly aware of the date on which he was to be executed and had been made to sign his death warrant before being moved to the Pune jail on November 19. According to official sources, a senior jail official read out the death warrant to Kasab at his cell and also informed him that his clemency petition had been rejected by the President.
After reading out his death warrant, Kasab, who was part of the 10-member Lashkar group that carried out the dastardly attack on November 26, 2008, was asked to sign it which he did, the sources said. Later, he was taken by the Yerwada Jail. The local police was kept out of the loop to maintain secrecy of the operation.
Barring a couple of officers, the 200-strong contingent of ITBP, which has been guarding him since March 2009, had been kept out of loop about his transfer to Pune jail. The sources said the ITBP jawans continued to guard the empty high-security cell, which had been housing 25-year-old Kasab.
Kasab had been lodged in the Arthur Jail Road in Mumbai ever since he was arrested immediately after the attack in 2008. He was convicted and given capital punishment by the trial court on May 6, 2010 which was upheld by the Bombay High Court on February 21, 2011.
Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, the Home Minister credited the President for having expedited the decision on Kasab. The Home Minister said no decision has been taken as yet on Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru. Shinde said "only a very small group was kept in the loop about Kasab's hanging".
He added that not even Congress President Sonia Gandhi or the Congress Core group knew of it. Shinde also denied that the cancellation of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's visit had anything to do with the decision to execute Kasab.
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