Kasab's verdict catches attention of US media

Kasab's verdict catches attention of US media

"Lone surviving gunman in 2008 Mumbai siege convicted," reported The Washington Post, while The Wall Street Journal headlined, "Mumbai Attacker is Guilty, could face death penalty."

The Christian Science Monitor said: "Pakistani, Ajmal Kasab, found guilty of Mumbai attack." It also found mention in the electronic media.

"The verdict ends a year of courtroom drama that had riveted the city, as one defence lawyer after another was replaced and Kasab at one point offered a detailed confession of the assault," said a CSM correspondent from Mumbai.

The 2008 attacks raised tensions between India and Pakistan, which have only recently begun to ebb. Islamabad initially denied that the attackers were Pakistani. Recently, it asked that Kasab be extradited to be tried in Pakistan.

The Washington Post said it was an emotional day for many Indians because Kasab is the lone surviving attacker from the gun-and-grenade ambush on India's financial capital, a powerful strike at a city that has been at the forefront of India's economic boom.

"Office workers and schoolchildren across the country gathered at television sets to watch the verdict. The country remains deeply divided on how Kasab should be punished, with some saying the death penalty would only further the cycle of bloodshed," said a correspondent of The Post from New Delhi.

"I will never have the mother of my children back," Santanu Saikia, whose wife, Sabina Sehgal Saikia, an editor with the Times of India newspaper, was killed in her room on the fifth floor of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel, was quoted as saying.

"We have taken a decision that we are going to forgive Kasab in her memory. What else can we do?" Saikia said.

The New York Times correspondent reported that Kasab hung his head as a judge read a summary of the judgment to him in Hindi at a special courtroom in a jail here.
"Kasab, who spent most of the hearing bent over, held a grave expression but said nothing," The Times said.

Kasab, 22, faces the death penalty or life in prison. All the newspapers, linked the verdict with the Indo-Pak ties in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attack.

"The terrorist attack heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, which have fought several wars since they gained independence from Britain in 1947. Pakistan was slow to agree with Indian findings that the attacks were planned in Pakistan," wrote The Wall Street Journal.

It quoted Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik as saying: "we respect and we will respect the Indian court verdict."