Picture source: sify.com
On 26th November 2008, Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice Abu Dera Ismail Khan carried out an attack at the excessively crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai. Following this, they moved on to attack a police vehicle at Cama Hospital, where senior police officers Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte were killed in a shootout. The terrorists then reached Metro Cinema and Vidhan Bhavan where they continued with their shootings. A wounded Kasab was finally arrested when found trying to escape in a car at Girgaum Chowpatty.
The trial has been dragged for the past four years, during which an enraged India was forced to listen to Kasab’s whimsical desires that included being served Biryani. This prolonged sentence of justice finally reached its conclusion on 29th August 2012, when the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Kasab. However, this chapter is far from closed. The verdict for clemency still needs to be placed in front of the president before any action is taken.
“Well, it’s about time!” was one phrase chanted by most DU students when asked for their opinion. “I think this brings peace to a lot of people, especially the ones who have lost their loved ones. But this definitely doesn’t solve the question of security in India. Measures need to be taken to ensure that an incident like this doesn’t happen again,” said Madhurima, a student of Lady Shri Ram College. Others were not too satisfied. “It’s good to know that justice has been served, but it has been too long. If this had been declared four years ago, it would have meant a lot more,” stated Jay from Kirori Mal College. Lisha, a second year student from Hindu voiced an opinion on similar lines, “There’s still a long way to go. The appeal hasn’t been sent to the President yet, so only half the goal has been achieved. The Indian judicial system needs to be more efficient.”
Kasab belongs to a poor family in Faridkot, Pakistan. He got involved in petty crimes until he was finally taken in by the terrorist organisation, Lashkar-E-Taiba, at a very young age. For youth like him being brainwashed into the world of bloodshed at such an influenceable age, death sentence doesn’t seem like the best punishment to some. “I don’t think any human being or institution should have the right to command when someone else’s life ends. Kasab definitely deserves severe punishment for the pain he has caused, but I wish we could think of a better way of making him learn his lesson,” said Adita, a student of St. Stephen’s college.
While an impatient India waits for justice to be served in one way or the other, the verdict against our country’ most hated terrorist carries on at snail’s pace.