26/11 survivors, victims' kin hail court verdict

Survivors and kin of victims of the 26/11 terror attacks Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court judgment upholding the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving Pakistani terrorist behind the strike.

"I'm more than happy. I know my husband is not going to return, but it gives some peace to my soul that the perpetrator of the crime has been punished even if he is just a pawn," said Ragini Sharma, wife of Sushikumar Sharma, a ticket inspector at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, who was among the 166 people killed in the carnage. 

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"However, I feel he (Kasab) should be executed within a month and not given a chance to make an appeal to the President of India, considering the heinous nature of his crime," she said.

Mohammed Hanif Peer Mohammed, 69, who lost his brother in the attacks, agreed. "Although the judgment is out and the accused has been found guilty, I want to see him hanged to death," he said. 

Sachin Bhonsale, son of slain assistant sub-inspector Balasaheb Bhonsale, said: "I'm glad is all I can say. Although late, I feel my father's death did not go waste." 

"However, Kasab should be hanged at the earliest without any kind of waiting for providing him with an opportunity to appeal further," he said.

Bhonsale said that instead of executing Kasab, he should be handed over to the survivors and kin of the victims. 

"Give his custody to people like us, people who have survived the attack or those who have lost their most loved ones. We will take good care of him," he said.

Police officer Sanjay Govilkar said he was glad that the Indian judicial system had once again proved that it would not tolerate any attack on the nation.

Columnist Bhisham Mansukhani, who escaped the attack at the Taj Hotel, however, said the Kasab saga would continue. 

"Having to deal with incompetent people at the top, we will continue to be haunted by the ghastly 26/11 anniversary stories and the attention Kasab will continue to gain until he is hanged," he said.

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