The mercy plea of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, has been rejected by the government which has sent its recommendation to the President.

A top Home Ministry official said Kasab’s mercy petition has been dismissed as he was involved in a grave crime and waging war against India that led to killing 166 people, including foreigners.

The 25-year old Pakistani and nine other fellow Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had landed in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 by sea from Karachi and had gone on a shooting spree at various places, carrying out the country’s worst terror attack. While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists were killed by the security forces.

Kasab’s mercy petition was sent to the Home Ministry by the Maharashtra government last month after rejecting the plea.

A brief official release said, “the Home Ministry has only processed Kasab’s mercy petition and submitted it to President for decision“.

After nearly a four-year-long legal battle, on August 29, the Supreme Court had confirmed the death penalty awarded to the LeT operative by the trial court and later upheld by the Bombay High Court. Upholding Kasab’s conviction, the apex Court had said that he killed without “the slightest twinge of conscience“.

The Pakistani gunman is currently lodged in the bomb-proof and an egg-shaped cell at the high-security Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.

After the Home Ministry’s recommendation, it is now left to the President Pranab Mukherjee to take a final decision on Kasab’s mercy plea.

There are more than a dozen mercy petitions pending before the President for final decision which include Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.

(This article was published on October 23, 2012)
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