Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman caught alive after the Mumbai terror attack, was hanged to death at the Yerawada central prison in Pune in a top-secret operation this morning, less than a week before the fourth anniversary of the carnage.
25-year-old Kasab was hanged at 7.30 am, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said in Mumbai shortly after the hanging.
Pakistan government was kept informed about the execution.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Kasab was buried inside the Yerawada jail premises.
Kasab did not have any last wish or a will, Mr Chavan told reporters in Mumbai.
The execution in the Mumbai attack trial brought relief to many people affected by the audacious strike by 10 terrorists of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in which 166 people were killed. Nine LeT men were killed during the 60-hour siege which began on the night of November 26, 2008.
Kasab was executed after he exhausted all legal remedies available to escape the noose with President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting his mercy plea on November 5.
Kasab, who has been lodged at the Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai ever since his arrest soon after the terror attack, was whisked out of his heavily-guarded cell in the intervening night of November 18 and 19, a senior police official said. The team, along with Kasab, reached Pune’s Yerawada jail in the wee hours of November 19.
“The President rejected the mercy petition on November 5. I signed it on November 7 and on November 8, the Maharashtra government had been communicated to take action. It was decided that he would be executed on November 21 at 7.30 AM. and accordingly the whole process has been completed today,” Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, adding secrecy about the hanging was a key.
Letter faxed to Pakistan
While stating that Pakistan was informed about the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the Home Minister said, with this (execution) the judicial procedure of 26/11 case has been completed.
"Indian mission in Islamabad informed the Pakistan government about Kasab’s hanging through letter. Since Pakistan refused to take the letter, same was sent through fax", Mr. Shinde said.
Pakistan denies charge
However, Pakistan rejected India''s asseration and claimed that the note regarding Ajmal Kasab’s execution was “received” and “acknowledged”.