American Centre attack plotter wants to be hanged

Aftab Ansaris death sentence was upheld by the Calcutta High Court

Ajmal Kasab might have been moved up the queue of death row convicts who have pleaded for mercy from the President, but that is not the case with Aftab Ansari and his partner Jamaluddin Naser, who were sentenced to death seven years ago.

Ansari and his partner Jamaluddin, accused in the American Centre shootout case in Kolkata in 2002, were awarded capital punishment by a lower court in 2005. The sentence was upheld by the Calcutta High Court in February 2010. Now the petition challenging the High Court order is lying with the Supreme Court.

“After the news of Kasab’s execution reached the Alipore Central Correctional Home, where Aftab is housed at present, this diehard terrorist literally broke down. He wanted to make a call to his home and so we took him to the telephone booth inside the correctional home,” said one of the jail official supervising the security of the high-profile convict.

“Kitne saalo se latka ke rakh diya. Hum bhi petition karenge jo karna hain jaldi karon. Latkana hain latka do (the matter is pending in court for years. I will write a petition. Whatever you want to do, do it fast),” Aftab told his fellow inmates before going to the booth,the officer said. 

“The legal procedure is consuming a lot of time. His hearing was fixed on Tuesday (November 20), but the state government, that was supposed to furnish some papers, pleaded for another four weeks. The delay is just getting prolonged,” Aftab’s advocate Syed Shahid Imam told Deccan Herald.

Five policemen were killed and 20 others injured as terrorists attacked the American cultural center in Kolkata on January 22, 2002. Ansari, allegedly the mastermind, was arrested in Dubai and deported to India on February 9, 2002.

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