Prosecution seeks death for 'killing machine' Kasab

Sentence put off to Thursday as steno held up in traffic jam

Prosecution seeks death for 'killing machine' Kasab

The reason for the postponement of the sentence was that the stenographer in the trial was held up owing to the strike by motormen which crippled Mumbai’s suburban train services, resulting in massive traffic jams on roads. The sentence was earlier scheduled for Tuesday.

Opening the argument on the quantum of punishment, Special Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam described Kasab as a “killing machine manufactured in Pakistan” and demanded that he be hanged.

Strenuously urging death penalty for the Pak national, the  prosecution said Kasab was a monster who laughed seeing innocent people dying in pain and was disappointed that he could not kill more.

Lighter penalty

Judge Tahilyani, who listened for almost two hours to Nikam’s peroration laced with Sanskrit couplets and reliving the unbelievable bestiality of the Pakistani jihadists, deferred his much-awaited order on the penalty.

Kasab’s court-appointed lawyer K P Pawar sought a lighter penalty for his client, citing his age and claiming that the terrorist had been a mere pawn in hands of real handlers, who were still alive in Pakistan.

Kasab was on Monday convicted of waging war on India  over the 60-hour siege in the country’s commercial hub that left 166 people, including 25 foreign nationals dead and more than 300 wounded.

“It would be a mockery of justice if death penalty is not imposed. He is an agent of the devil himself, a disgrace to society and the entire human race,” Nikam said.
He said a lesser sentence of life imprisonment would mean India would “remain a soft target” for extremists.

The prosecutor said the attack fell into the “rarest of rare” category of crime deemed by the Supreme Court as it involved “focused, meticulous and detailed” planning to kill police officers and civilians. Moreover, Kasab had told a magistrate at the time of recording his confession on his own volition.

Inspiration

When asked why he was doing so, Kasab said he wanted to inspire future fidayeens (suicide killers), Nikam said, quoting from the record. Kasab was not content with killing so many defenceless people and wanted more to die for no reason, Nikam said. He was echoing the sentiments of  the families of some of the victims who have demanded Kasab’s execution, even a public hanging.

However, legal experts say that the imposition of the death penalty could trigger a lengthy and potentially open-ended appeal. India has not carried out an execution since 2004 and only two since 1998. Nevertheless, the prosecutor said Kasab “has lost every right to live.”

Nikam said Kasab voluntarily joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba. When Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi told him and others that they had to suspend their operations for a few months, Kasab insisted that they should go to India and complete the operation, the prosecutor said, quoting from Kasab’s confession. Nikam said there were no mitigating factors which could allow a lighter punishment to the convict and only a death penalty would be appropriate.
 

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