Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kasab & Mumbai verdict

Kasab should not be awarded the death sentence. It is not an adequate punishment for him. It is, in fact, a relief. He should be awarded life sentence — not for 12 years — but till his natural death. While a dead Kasab will be a martyr for other terrorists, a Kasab-in-jail will be a deterrent to would-be terrorists.

It is distressing to note that either the police or the prosecution messed up on two other accused. There are key questions that need to be asked here.

Did they apprehend the wrong persons? Did they know they had a weak case? If so, why was it pursued so vigorously? If not, what was the motive in keeping them in jail for so long? Did the prosecution warn the police of this weak case?

While the acquittal of the two Indians — Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed — may offer solace to those troubled by suggestions of a “home-grown” factor in the 26/11 attacks, the prosecution and Mumbai police stand shamed in the court. The judge has ruled that 20 of the 25 accused, including Pakistan's Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Abu Hamza, were involved in the conspiracy. The ends of justice will be met only if all of them are brought to justice.

The swiftness with which the sessions judge M.L. Tahaliyani completed the terror trial in 17 months is admirable. It is important that the tempo is kept up till the lone captured terrorist is given the punishment. The key conspirators, who are exporting terror to wage a war on India, should also be brought to justice.