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Mumbai attacker loses appeal

Supreme Court upholds death sentence on sole surviving gunman

  • Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
  • India
  • August 29, 2012
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The Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence on Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving gunman of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Terming it as a rarest of the rare case, a two-member bench dismissed the 25-year-old Pakistani national’s appeal challenging his May 3, 2010 conviction and death sentence for mass murder and waging war on India.

"In view of the nature of the gravity of his crime and the fact that he participated in waging war against the country, we have no option but to uphold his death penalty," Supreme Court justices CK Prasad and Aftab Alam said in their ruling.

Kasab and nine other gunmen mounted coordinated attacks on landmarks in the country’s commercial capital, killing at least 173 people and injuring more than 300 during the November 26-29, 2008 rampage.

Police captured Kasab on the first day after he was filmed walking with an assault rifle through the city’s main railway station where 52 people were gunned down. The other attackers were killed by security forces.

Investigations later linked them with the Islamic terror group Laskar-e-Taiba.  Authorities also suspect Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence spy agency planned the attacks.

He was named in 312 counts, one of the highest number of charges ever laid against an accused and found guilty on more than 80.

Kasab later appealed, saying the trial was unfair, and that the prosecution had failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.  He also denied waging war against India.

Legal experts say Kasab can appeal again to the same two Supreme Court justices or ask other justices to review the case.

He can also ask the country’s president, Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, for clemency.

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