Kasab cold to hearing on sentence

Terrorist yawns, smiles during arguments
Last Updated : 18 October 2010, 19:15 IST

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Kasab, who was convicted for conspiring to kill 166 innocent people in a heinous plot allegedly hatched by the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba with the active support of the Inter-Services Intelligence, was not present in person in the court but participated in the proceedings through video-conferencing from his bullet-and bomb-proof Anda cell at the Arthur Road Central Prison.

The day-to-day hearing began before a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More. However, for Kasab, it was just another public spectacle, and he kept on scratching his head. In between, he also sought the High Court’s permission to go to a washroom, which was granted.

At 11 am, Kasab appeared on a screen specially installed in the High Court room. A half-an-hour went in checking the systems and volumes at both ends, before the start of the proceedings. A similar screen is also installed in Kasab’s cell.

Kasab seemed uninterested in the proceedings, as was seen by his playing with buttons of his prison uniform, stretching hands, yawing and smiling. During his earlier trial as well, Kasab had giggled during different hearings. On Sunday, Kasab was reportedly reading the Quran in his cell.

Unprecedented security measures have been ordered on the court premises with strict regulations on the entry of lawyers, litigants, mediapersons, court employees and others in Court No 49.

Opening the arguments on behalf of the Maharashtra government, counsel Ujjwal Nikam, while giving details about the barbaric acts of Kasab and nine other terrorists who sailed from Pakistan to strike, said: “The 26/11 attack was an act of state-sponsored terrorism and was executed by the LeT with the aid of security apparatus of that country.”

Describing it as “a classic case of state-sponsored terrorism, borne out of deep hatred against India,” Nikam said the heinous conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan by the LeT to destabilise India, wage war against the country and cause financial losses by organising terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people from India, the UK, US, Israel and other countries were killed.

The High Court building was converted into a fortress with armed policemen at all the four entrances.

Published 18 October 2010, 11:38 IST

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