Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kasab shoots off mercy plea to Prez in Hindi

Mateen Hafeez & Sanjeev Shivadekar TNN

Mumbai: Convicted Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab himself wrote his mercy petition in Hindi, which has been sent to the President’s office. Kasab was taught Hindi before entering India by Abu Jundal, an Indian operative of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who is now in police custody. 
 Kasab, now 25, has been convicted on 86 charges in the Mumbai carnage of November 2008. His death penalty was upheld by the Supreme Court last month.
    “Jail manual rules state that every convict or an undertrial should be made aware of their rights. Jail authorities helped Kasab write his mercy petition. He knows Hindi and wrote it on his own,” said a police source. The petition, Arthur Road jail authorities said, was sent to the state home department a few days ago, and from there to the President’s office. 
    The Maharashtra government, on its part, wants the Centre to expedite his punishment and dispose of his mercy plea, “bypassing” the existing wait list. Reacting to reports on the plea, home minister R R Patil on Tuesday said he would ask the Centre to give it a hearing on a priority basis. 

    “He has been convicted for waging a war against the nation. The Pakistani gunman’s case is different from others who have filed mercy petitions. The government should process it on priority to ensure speedy disposal of the case,” Patil said. 

    After the judgment, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had said that Kasab’s plea would be disposed of in minimum time. As per provisions of the law, there is no time limit for disposing of a mercy petition. 

    If executed, Kasab will be the 52nd person to be hanged in India since Independence. However, jail authorities did not explain whether he wanted to go for a review of his sentence in the Supreme Court before a bigger bench. 
 Afzal, 28 others ahead of Kasab
Mumbai:Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab has written to the President seeking mercy for his death penalty. On August 29, a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad in the Supreme Court had dismissed his plea challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 case.
The petition copy will be forwarded from the President’s office to the Union home ministry for its remarks, from where it will be sent back to the President’s office. Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists who entered Mumbai on November 26, 2008, killed 166 people, including 18 foreigners.
Of all the terrorists, only Kasab was captured alive. Ahead of him are people such as Mohammed Afzal Guru, the terrorist condemned to the gallows for his involvement in the December 2001 Parliament attack case, awaiting decision on mercy petitions.
According to the home ministry's factsheet on people on the death row, a total of 29 mercy petitions seeking pardon, under Article 72 of the Constitution, are still pending with the central government. At least seven of the condemned prisoners-—six from Uttar Pradesh and one from Tamil Nadu—have been able to survive for more than 14 years as their pleas are pending with Rashtrapati Bhavan since 1998.  
The mercy plea—written in Hindi by Ajmal Kasab—speaks
about his case, his trial and conviction, and seeks mercy from the President of India

Who helped Kasab write the plea
Kasab wrote the mercy petition with the help of Arthur Road jail offi cials. The jail sent it to Maharashtra’s law and judiciary department (home ministry). The state then forwarded it to the President of India’s office
What next
The petition will be sent from the President’s offi ce to the Union home ministry for its remarks. Once the fi nal remarks are made, it will be sent back to the President’s offi ce

His role in the 26/11 terror attack Kasab, along with nine other gunmen, entered Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008. While four of them entered Taj Mahal hotel, two went to Trident, two others to Nariman House (Jewish centre) and Kasab, along with his mentor, Ismail Dera Khan, to CST. They killed 166 people. Kasab was the only terrorist to be captured alive
The death sentence Kasab, who faced 86 charges, was tried in a special court that awarded him death penalty. Kasab then approached Bombay high court and later the Supreme Court, which upheld HC’s death sentence order last month

The Times of India, September 19, 2012

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