New Delhi: 8:14 pm: Pakistani security and intelligence ban journalists and television cameramen from entering Ajmal Kasab's hometown in Punjab province.
6:01 pm: Khurshid says Ajmal Kasab and Sarabjeet's cases are not similar and India will continue to hope for Sarabjeet's release and will not give up its efforts.
5:56 pm: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid hopes Pakistan will deliver on 26/11 trial after Ajmal Kasab's execution.
3.40 pm: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde tells CNN-IBN that Sonia Gandhi was not informed about the operation. "The MHA kept it a top secret. Even the Congress Core Group wasn't told. I never informed Sonia Gandhi about it. A very small group knew about it," he says.
2.55 pm: Finance Minister P Chidambaram says, "Kasab deserved the extreme punishment. I think one sad, sorrowful chapter has come to an end. Nothing that we do now can bring back lives of the 166 people who were killed. However, those families must have some sense of satisfaction that justice has been done in the case of one perpetrator whom we were able to capture alive."
2.01 pm: Pakistan refutes charges that it had ignored India's note on Kasab's hanging, says the note was "received" and "acknowledged". It adds that it opposes terror in all its forms and is willing to cooperate with countries to eliminate the scourge.
1.20 pm: Congress leader RPN Singh says that Narendra Modi's tweet questioning the delay in the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru is unfortunate. "It is very unfortunate that at an important time in our fight against terrorism, such an issue is being raised. His mercy petition is pending with the President. This is Modi's attempt to divert focus."
12.45 pm: A brief timeline of events leading up to Kasab's hanging:
- Nov 5: President signs order on Kasab's hanging.
- Nov 7: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde signs the order.
- Nov 8: Maharashtra government signs the order.
- Nov 12: Kasab informed that he will be hanged on November 21. He asks that his mother be informed about it.
- Nov 14: Home Secretary writes to Foreign Secretary asking that Kasab's family be informed.
- Nov 19: Kasab moved to the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune which has provision for execution of prisoners.
- Nov 20: Pakistan High Commission informed about the order on Kasab's hanging and is asked that his family be informed.
- Nov 21: Kasab hanged at 7.30 am at Yerwada Central Prison, Pune. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan says he has been buried inside the jail premises.
12.41 pm: Ferzad Jehani, the co-owner of Leopold Cafe, one of the places that was attacked during the terrorist strike, has hailed the order, saying justice has been delivered in an appropriate manner.
11.58 am: Javed Akhtar says Kasab was only a pawn and that the real perpetrators of terror were yet to be apprehended.
11.42 am: Shiv Sena welcomes the order, says this is the biggest tribute by the government to their party chief Bal Thackeray, who died on Saturday.
11.40 am: Navjot Singh Sidhu hails order, says justice was delayed, but was given nonetheless.
11.35 am: Digvijaya Singh hits back at the BJP, asks in a tweet, "Will Modi and BJP tell us why NDA Govt didn't carry out death sentence to Rajiv Gandhi's killers, who were sentenced in 1998."
11.25 am: Mumbai CP Satyapal Singh says the order is a "salute to Mumbai's martyrs and innocent victims of 26/11".
11.15 am: Noted lawyer Harish Salve says that the government, for a change, handled everything very skilfully.
10.48 am: 26/11 martyr Vijay Salaskar's wife and daughter welcome the news, say this is just the beginning of justice.
10.32 am: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid says Pakistan ignored a fax message that had been sent to its Foreign Office on Kasab's execution. He said that the rule of law had been followed in his execution, adding that the government will take requisite steps if Pakistan or Kasab's family requests for his body.
10.28 am: Kasab has been hanged but his mentors are still active, says RSS.
10.17 am: Kasab's body has been buried near Yerwada jail premises in Pune, says Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
10.09 am: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde rejects reports that Kasab's hanging had been timed to coincide with the winter session of Parliament and says that the timing and date of hanging had been pre-decided by court.
9.57 am: Gujarat CM Narendra Modi tweets, "What about Afzal Guru who attacked Parliament, our temple of democracy in 2001? That offence predates Kasab's heinous act by many years."
9.48 am: Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweets, "Gotta hand it to the Govts at the centre & in Mumbai for the mature way they handled this. Shows we can still keep a secret if we need to."
9.46 am: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh welcomes reports about Kasab's hanging, says any person who is involved in "such terror attacks deserves that".
9.43 am: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde says that Pakistan was informed about Kasab's hanging by the Indian mission in Islamabad but that the government refused to receive the letter that had been faxed.
9.41 am: Pakistan says it respects India's judicial process, however, it adds that the government won't deny any repercussions of the judgement on Sarabjit Singh's mercy plea.
9.30 am: 26/11 attacks survivor Eknath Omble, the brother of Assistant Sub Inspector Tukaram Omble who died during the attacks, welcomes the verdict.
The Maharashtra Home Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks convict Ajmal Kasab was hanged at 7.30 am at Pune's Yerwada jail. President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected his mercy plea on November 5, and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde signed it on November 7. The order was then signed by the Maharashtra government on November 8, said the Home Minister.
"His execution is a tribute to the victims of 26/11 attacks," said the Home Minister of Maharashtra, RR Patil. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told CNN-IBN that Kasab was shifted out of Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail to Pune's Yerwada Jail two days ago, on Monday. Yerwada Jail is meant for convicts and has provision for their execution. The CM admitted that secrecy had been maintained over Kasab's execution as they did not want to compromise the security situation in any way.
Sources said that Kasab was provided all information before the execution and the jail manual was followed. When he was asked for his last wish and whether he had a will, Kasab said no. Yerwada Jail sources said that the High Court had been asked to inform Kasab's family.
In September, the Maharashtra Home Ministry had recommended that the LeT terrorist's mercy plea be rejected. Kasab had been sentenced to death in May 2010 for his role in the savage attacks that ripped apart Mumbai on 26 November 2008, killing over 150 people, including several foreigners.
On August 29 this year, the Supreme Court had confirmed the death penalty awarded to Kasab by the trial court and later upheld by the Bombay High Court.
A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad had dismissed the 25-year-old's plea challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 case.
He was given a copy of the judgement earlier in September. When the terrorist, lodged in bomb-proof "anda cell" (egg shaped cell), was first informed about the apex court upholding his death penalty, Kasab did not appear shocked, a jail officer said.
Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008 after traveling from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various landmarks, killing 166 people, including foreigners.
While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists were killed by security forces.
According to the Home ministry's fact-sheet on people on death row, a total of 29 mercy petitions involving 52 condemned prisoners, seeking pardon, under Article 72 of the constitution are still pending with the Central Government.
At least seven of the condemned prisoners - six from Uttar Pradesh and one from Tamil Nadu - have been able to survive for over 12 years as their mercy pleas have remained pending with Rashtrapati Bhawan since 1998.
Seven others, figuring in five other mercy petitions filed in 1999, have been able to survive for 11 years as the president is yet to take any decision on their mercy pleas.
Five condemned prisoners who filed their mercy petitions in 2000 and 25 other condemned prisoners who filed their mercy petitions between 2001-06 are also awaiting a decision from the president.
During the last decade (1990-2000), the president rejected seven mercy petitions and commuted the sentences of two, while in the previous decade (1980-89) out of 45 mercy petitions, 41 were rejected and four commuted.
(With additional information from PTI and IANS)
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