How other Indian attackers have escaped the hangman



Ammu Kannampilly | AFP

Published — Wednesday 21 November 2012

Last update 21 November 2012 5:46 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW DELHI: Mohammed Kasab was hanged weeks after his mercy plea was denied. But others involved in some of India’s most infamous attacks have languished on death row for years because governments are wary of triggering unrest.
Pakistan-born Kasab, one of ten gunmen who laid siege to India’s financial capital Mumbai in November 2008 and left 166 people dead, was one of more than 400 people on death row in India before his execution on Wednesday.
His hanging was remarkably swift in a country where the death penalty is now extremely rare, and where experts say successive governments have been fearful of a violent communal or ethnic backlash.
Even three Tamils convicted for their role in the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi have yet to be executed. Their hanging was stayed after huge protests in the southern state of Tamil Nadu last year.
Prior to Kasab, only one execution had taken place in India in the last 15 years, when a former security guard was hanged in 2004 for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.
Sanjay Hegde, an advocate at the Supreme Court, said there was widespread popular support for Kasab’s execution and it would likely have few domestic repercussions.
“Kasab is a one-off case in that it’s not politically divisive at all. The national sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of handing down the death penalty to him,” Hegde told AFP.
Petitions for clemency in other high-profile cases involving attacks on Indian soil have been awaiting the presidential signature for years, as there is no set time limit for the president to look over the appeal.
Among those awaiting consideration is the case of Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim sentenced to death for his role in the 2001 attack on India’s parliament which left 15 people dead, including five militants.
Any decision to grant Afzal Guru clemency would risk a backlash, especially from Hindu right-wingers. However his execution risks igniting Muslim separatist sentiment in volatile Kashmir.
And the scheduled execution of a Sikh radical over the 1995 assassination of a chief minister was stayed at the last minute last year after large-scale protests prompted the Punjab state government to file an appeal to the president.
“In other cases, whether in Tamil Nadu or Punjab, the attackers have benefited from local support from state-level politicans,” Delhi-based political commentator R. Jagannathan told AFP.
“Kasab has no godfather in India. It was a politically expedient hanging and the government played its cards, knowing fully well that no one was going to stand up and protest it.”
According to advocate Hegde, the government was pushed to act quickly in Kasab’s case, as “any delay would have cost them politically.”
“He was caught red-handed on camera. If he had sat on death row for years, the political repercussions for the government would have been troublesome, with lots of people raising a fuss over why he was kept alive,” he said.
Kasab’s execution came two days after India voted against a UN resolution to abolish the death penalty.
Human Rights Watch issued a statement in response to the hanging, calling for India to “join the rising ranks of nations that have taken the decision to remove the death penalty from their legal frameworks.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Three citizens, aged above 65, and a 32-year-old expatriate have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Riyadh raising the death toll to 471 in Saudi Arabia since June 2012, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.It also reported...
JEDDAH: Five hospitals and health centers across the Kingdom have been ranked among the 10 top hospitals in the Arab World, according to the Webometrics Ranking of World Hospitals 2015 conducted by Cybermetrics Lab. King Faisal Specialist Hospital an...
RIYADH: The children of the martyrs and wounded soldiers will be given preference for jobs in the organization, KACST President Prince Turki bin Saud Bin Mohammad Al-Saud said Riyadh on Tuesday.On an initiative from the Ministry of Education, a two-d...
JEDDAH: The laboratory of Al-Amal Complex for Mental Health was recently ranked fifth in the RIQAS program for biochemistry out of 120 laboratories. It also came in sixth in the same program for the department of hematology among the 60 participants,...
RIYADH: Anticipating high temperatures during the Haj season, the Ministry of Health has made arrangements to install more equipment to treat heatstroke patients among pilgrims, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Al-Mirghalani said following a meeting...
RIYADH: The National Water Company (NWC) has added a new feather to its cap by launching an e-branch (website www.nwc.com.sa) to serve the customers around the clock.The NWC, which aims to become the leading water utility in the Gulf that comes under...
DAMMAM: Traffic regulations in the Kingdom and many countries of the world dedicate the right lane of highways and roads to trucks as they are designed to carry heavy weights in contrast to the other lanes, which are allocated for lighter weight vehi...
RIYADH: The solar-power plant, “Layla,” in Aflaj province, will be opened shortly, Saleh Al-Awaji, chairman of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), has said.The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is one of the signatories, along with King Abdulaziz City for...
RIYADH: The expanded facility for machine readable passports (MRPs) at the Embassy of Pakistan will help the mission process over 1,200 applications on daily basis. The new setup was inaugurated on Tuesday.Saudi Arabia hosts the largest Pakistan comm...
RIYADH: The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) has directed manufacturers and their agents in the Kingdom to strictly follow the safety regulations for the new cars to be marketed to the Kingdom beginning 2017.In a statement r...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Social Affairs recently honored 20 academically gifted orphans whom it had earlier sent to Japan for ten days to visit attractions that include cultural and educational institutions. Ministry of Social Affairs Undersecretary D...
JEDDAH: Prince Bandar bin Abdullah, member of the board of trustees of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Foundation for Humanitarian Action, spoke at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the invi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Health has issued a circular to all health sector employees to ensure they sterilize their hands prior to dealing with patients.The circular, issued by Deputy Minister for Public Health Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah bin Saeed, is in...
JEDDAH: The Indonesian Consulate and community have been conducting their 70th Independence Day celebrations for the past three months by having different cultural and social activities. On Tuesday, the consulate arranged a blood donation camp with t...
JEDDAH: The Specialized Penal Court in Jeddah on Tuesday issued a preliminary verdict on the imprisonment of two Saudi suspects to 38 years.The first suspect was charged with firing on the police center in Awamiyah, Qatif Province, while the other wa...

Stay Connected

Facebook