Kasab held guilty, sentence today

Kasab held guilty, sentence today

Fahim Ansari, Sabahuddin Ahmed let off

Kasab held guilty, sentence today

Kasab was convicted by designated judge M L Tahilyani on all the 86 counts, including waging war on India and murder, under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act, Customs Act, Explosives Act and the Railways Act.

The Pak national will be sentenced on Tuesday and may  face the gallows. He is the first to be convicted for the attacks.  “It was not a simple act of murder. It was a war,” the judge said in a summary of the 1,522- page verdict. “This type of preparation is not made by ordinary criminals. This type of preparation is made by those waging war.”

LeT hand

The attacks were allegedly planned by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which recruited Kasab and nine other militants, trained them and sent them to Mumbai on a suicide mission. Nine of them were killed by the police and NSG commandos.

The real punch in Monday’s judgment was the acquittal of two Indian nationals accused of being LeT members and of conducting reconnaissance in Mumbai and preparing maps for the attack. The judge said Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed have been “forthwith acquitted from the case and allowed to be set free if they are not wanted in any other case.”

While convicting Kasab, the court held him guilty of killing the then Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Inspector Vijay Salaskar. Kasab’s accomplice Abu Ismail was held guilty of killing Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte.

The prosecution has charged 38 people in connection with the attacks, most of them Pakistani nationals. Except Kasab and the two Indians, all of them are either in Pakistan or are untraceable. Seven of them, such as LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, are standing trial in Pakistan for the 26/11 attacks. But LeT’s former chief Hafiz Saeed is still roaming free.

The court found that 20 of the accused, including Saeed, Lakhvi and Abu Hamza, were involved in the conspiracy. On Monday, Kasab, dressed in white, stood but did not react to a summary of the verdict read out to him in Hindi by the judge over three hours and then sat down.

He was also found guilty of offences ranging from damage to public property to entering the country without a passport.  People had gathered in large numbers outside the courtroom, which was protected by armoured vehicles and snipers, for news of the much-awaited trial.