Mohammad Ajmal Kasab was executed today by hanging in India. The Pakistani gunman was the only surviving member of ten gunmen who committed a killing spree that is often described as India’s equivalent of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Kasab was sentenced to die earlier this year. Kasab was hanged in secret the day before Thanksgiving in the western city of Pune, just days before the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks.
According to Reuters, friends of Kasab said he was playful boy who was “probably trapped by some religious group” only to be inducted into a Muslim terrorist group. After this, Kasab underwent months of commando-style training in an Islamist training camp organised by Lashkar-e-Taiba. Lashkar is blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001 that brought nuclear-armed India and Pakistan close to a fourth war.
On November 26, 2008, Kasab joined a squad of ten who snuck into Mumbai on three inflatable speedboats shortly after nightfall. The Pakistani terrorists had sailed across the Arabian Sea by hijacking an Indian trawler and killing its crew. Kasab and his squad then went on a killing spree, murdering 166 people on a three-day rampage across Mumbai in 2008. They fanned out into the city, spraying bullets and throwing grenades as they hit some of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Kasab specifically is well known for attacking the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a Gothic train station, leaving 60 people to die in pools of blood. Today, an effigy of Kasab, with a noose around his neck, was hung from the entrance gate of this very station while a crowd shouted “death to Pakistan.”
When police asked Kasab whether he felt pity for the people he gunned down, he said he had given it some thought beforehand. Like many Muslim jihadists, he had been assured “you have to do these things, if you’re going to be a big man and get rewarded in heaven.”
The reactions to Kasab being executed in India by hanging are coming in from all over the globe.
“We acted as per the law of our country. He [Kasab] was given all the options available to him as per law,” said Mr. Khurshid, Foreign Minister for India, according to the New York Times. “Everybody is equal in the eyes of law.”
Pakistan also condemns the attacks as terrorism.
“We are willing to cooperate and work closely with all countries of the region to eliminate scourge of terrorism,” said Moazzam Ali Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the New York times, both countries will not allow Kasab’s execution to hinder the long-term process of maintaining peace.
“There is a virtual consensus among Pakistan’s mainstream political parties on the importance of keeping the process on the rails, and even promoting it,” said Tariq Fatemi, a retired senior Pakistani diplomat. “It has come to the stage where the hanging of Kasab will not derail it.”
Meanwhile, those who orchestrated the Mumbai terrorist attacks have not been convicted. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of the Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, frequently mocks a $10 million American bounty for information leading to his capture. Lashkar celebrates Kasab as a “hero” who would inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
“[Kasab] was a pawn,” said Benna Sarwar, a journalist and human rights campaigner, on Facebook.“Those responsible, who orchestrated the Mumbai episode, trained and poisoned young minds to carry out the carnage, remain free.”
Kasab being executed by hanging may incite anger with Muslim terrorist groups. Let us hope no attacks in India occur to rival the likes of the Mumbai massacre.