Hang me now, says Kasab

Hang me now, says Kasab

Denies being pressurised by jail guards; prosecutor pleads for continuation of trial

“You will get death penalty, but the time has not come yet,” retorted the special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The court proceedings began by Nikam asking the court to find out whether Kasab’s government-appointed defence lawyer Abbas Kazmi has explained the consequences to his client of changing the plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ through his statement.

The designated judge M L Tahilyani then put up the question to Kazmi, to which the defence lawyer said he has not explained anything to Kasab. Then he alleged that Kasab was physically and mentally tortured, he was pressurised to make that statement by jail guards and therefore it should neither be accepted by the court nor it should be used as evidence against his client.

The judge was taken aback and then put the question directly to Kasab himself, whether he was pressurised by the jail guards. Kasab flatly denied the allegation and said he made the statement admitting his guilt on his own and voluntarily and there was absolutely no external pressure on him.

“I was not tortured to make the statement,” Kasab said emphatically.

Kasab also told the court that he had not discussed the statement with his lawyer at all.

“Maine joh kiya hai, is duniya mein kiya hai, toh is duniya mein mujhe sazaa mile. Mujhe rab se koi saza nahi chahiye. Mujhe beshakh phaasi ki sazaa de dijiye (Whatever I have done, I have done on earth, and I should be punished here. I don’t want to be punished by God. Please punish me by hanging),” Kasab said.

Prosecution objection

The prosecutor, after retorting to Kasab about the death penalty, then opened his argument, asking for continuation of the trial so that the entire evidence against Kasab as well as 35 absconding Pakistani accused, particularly the LeT masterminds, was laid bare in the court.

Nikam pointed out that what Kasab has divulged in the court was a general outline of the 26/11 crime and not his specific role in it. The terrorist has also deviated at various places from his confession, which was duly recorded before a metropolitan magistrate as per the legal procedure, before the trial had begun. “Kasab has not admitted to killing police constable Tukaram Ombale at Girgaum chowpatti, nor he has admitted to having slit open the throat of (hijacked Indian trawler) Kuber’s navigator Amarsinh Solanki,” Nikam said.

In his original confession, Kasab had claimed that he and his accomplice Abu Ismail had killed top police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, but while making his statement in the court on Monday and Tuesday, he maintained that he did not open fire on anybody after exiting from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and it was Ismail who killed Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar as well as Ombale, the prosecutor pointed out.

Nikam then pleaded that Kasab was making a drama by conveniently avoiding to own up serious crimes like murdering the navigator and police officers. “There is enough evidence to nail him for these crimes,” he said.

Further, the prosecution wants to present to the court testimonies of the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as the investigation teams of other countries like Israel, whose citizens were killed in the mayhem.

The FBI team had joined the Indian investigators in probing the 26/11 attacks and had made its own report.

Nikam said when Kasab had confessed before a magistrate, he had arrogantly replied that he wanted many more Fidayeen attackers to get inspiration from him.

“Now, the man is saying that he was admitting guilt because Pakistan has admitted that he is their national... all this is nothing but drama,” he said.

While debating the motive behind Kasab’s statement of guilt, Nikam said perhaps he does not want the entire evidence of LeT’s terror planning or his own role in it to come out before the court.

The prosecutor then strongly urged the court to allow it to complete its evidence which will take maximum a month or so, and then pronounce his verdict.

The judge will give his ruling on Thursday.

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