|Kasab: the Mumbai gunman awaiting hanging|
|[Dawn] Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, labelled the "Butcher of Mumbai", is a school drop-out waiting to be hanged in India for his role in the 2008 attacks on the city.|
The 24-year-old Pak national was one of two heavily armed who opened fire and threw hand grenades at Mumbai's main railway station on November 26, 2008, killing 52 people and wounding more than 100.
He was allegedly born in the dusty village of Faridkot in a remote and impoverished region of Punjab in Pakistain's farming belt, home to 10,000 people, most of them farmers and labourers and few of them literate.
His father, Mohammed Amir Iman, ran a food stall in the village.
Kasab dropped out of school in 2000 and worked as a labourer in the eastern city of Lahore until 2005, according to his initial confession to police, which was widely published in India.
He first but later made a confession, admitting being one of the 10 trained, equipped and financed by the banned (LeT).
Kasab reportedly said he joined LeT to get weapons training after deciding to embark on a life of crime but there have also been claims that his father duped him into doing it for money.
The Supreme Court in New Delhi on Wednesday upheld his death sentence, leaving him with a final appeal to the president to save him from death by hanging.
"He fits the profile if you look at the recruited by Lashkar-e-Taiba," Wilson John, senior fellow at New Delhi's Observer Research Foundation and a specialist in groups, told AFP.
"They come from lower-middle class or poor families. They're not entirely uneducated, just a little bit educated; they're unemployed and looking for a job. They're not religiously inclined but they can be brainwashed.
"He was a prime target." When his trial began in 2009, Kasab at first appeared relaxed, dressed in either a T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms or a traditional kurta-pyjama, joking or smiling at lawyers and s.
But he seemed increasingly sullen, withdrawn and even asleep as the trial progressed, prompting fears for his mental state. He showed no emotion in the dock when he was pronounced guilty of murder and waging war on India.
Since his conviction, he has been held in a high-security jail in Mumbai.
When his Supreme Court appeal began in January, he issued a statement saying he had been denied a fair trial.
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam characterised Kasab as a shrewd and calculating operative, describing him as a "human shape" with no feelings or emotion.
While pushing for the death penalty, Nikam dwelt on the apparent smile Kasab wore while firing on travellers in the train station and his reported regret at arriving late at the target because he had missed the commuter rush.
His defence lawyer, K. P. Pawar, sought to persuade the court that Kasab was a susceptible young man who had been brainwashed.
"He was mentally defective (at the time of the attacks) and the effect impaired his ability to appreciate the impact of his conduct," Pawar told the court during discussions about his sentence.
"He's a human being of flesh and blood, that should not be forgotten," he added.
|Pakistan tells India Mumbai evidence inadmissible|
The letter is likely to aggravate New Delhi, which has branded Pakistan's attempts at prosecuting seven alleged conspirators a "facade" and has insisted it has already handed over enough evidence to convict the accused.
Pakistan charged the seven men over the 2008 Mumbai attacks in 2009, but insists it needs to gather more evidence in India before proceeding further. "Defense lawyers were not given an opportunity to cross examine Indian officials," said Zulfiqar, who headed the judicial commission's visit in March.
Pakistan wanted Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, who is the sole surviving gunman from the attacks and sentenced to death in India, to testify, but he was not included among the interviewees requested by the panel. The Pakistani commission recorded the statements of Indian investigators, doctors who performed autopsies and the magistrate who took Kasab's confession.
|Mumbai Bombing Suspect Arrested in India|
|[Tolo News] Indian police have a key suspect accused of co-ordinating the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed and more than 300 , media reports said Monday.|
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted unnamed police sources as confirming the arrest of Abu Hamza, also known as Sayed Zabiuddin, an Indian-born member of the Pak group Hamza was allegedly one of the handlers based in , Pakistain who issued instructions by telephone to the 10 as they stormed two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a restaurant and a train station in Mumbai.
Hamza, who has used a string of aliases, was at Delhi international airport on June 21 when he arrived from the Middle East and he has since been remanded , PTI reported.
Pak national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only gunman caught alive during the 60-hour assault on Mumbai in November 2008, was handed down a death sentence by the Bombay High Court last year.
PTI described Hamza as the 30-year-old "Hindi tutor" to the and said that he came from the western state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.
Delhi police spokesmen told AFP they were unable to immediately comment on reports about the arrest.
India blames the Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit, which is banned in Pakistain, for training, equipping and financing the Mumbai with support from "elements" in the Pakistain military.
Pakistain has indicted seven alleged perpetrators over the attacks but their trial, which began in 2009, has been beset by numerous delays triggering Indian accusations that the process is a sham.
The United States in April offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the conviction of , the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba who lives openly in Pakistain and is accused of ing the Mumbai attacks.
|Pakistan lawyers travel to India for Mumbai prosecution|
|[Dawn] Pak and lawyers are travelling to India this week to gather evidence for the prosecution of seven suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks of 2008, when 166 people were killed.|
The visit is the first of its kind, and comes after Pakistain indicted seven alleged conspirators in 2009 but has since said it needs to gather more evidence in India before proceeding further.
New Delhi says Pakistain's attempts at prosecution have been a "facade" and insists it has already handed over enough evidence to convict the accused.
The eight-strong commission of prosecutors, defence lawyers and a court official will travel to India Wednesday to take statements from witnesses and cross-examine them, senior public prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told AFP.
Pakistain had wanted Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, who is the sole surviving gunman from the attacks and has been sentenced to death in India, to testify, but he has not been included among the interviewees requested by the panel.
"The commission will record the statements of , statements of the doctors who conducted autopsies and the statement of lady magistrate who recorded Ajmal Kasab's confessional statement in Mumbai," Ali said.
|Mumbai gunman appeals death sentence|
|The only surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks has approached the Indian Supreme Court to have his death sentence overturned. A source said the request by Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab had been filed through jail authorities and lodged with the secretary general of the court.|
Pakistani national Kasab, one of 10 terrorists who laid siege to the city for nearly three days, was first convicted and sentenced in May 2010. The death sentence was confirmed by the state high court in February in his first failed appeal. If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict and sentence, Kasab can appeal for clemency to India's president as a last resort.
India has the death sentence for the "rarest of the rare" criminal offenses and executions are rare.
|India says US Mumbai attacks acquittal 'no setback'|
|[Dawn] India on Friday said it would press on with attempts to try a Pakistain-born Canadian citizen over the 2008 Mumbai attacks, despite a US jury finding him not guilty of involvement.|
"I do not see it as a setback as our case is still under investigation," said the country's internal security secretary, U K Bansal, referring to Tahawwur Hussain Rana's acquittal in a Chicago court.
Rana was accused of allowing his immigration business to be used as cover for his friend David Coleman Headley to scout out potential targets in India's financial and entertainment capital before the attacks.
Headley testified against him but a jury on Thursday found there was insufficient evidence to convict.
Federal are preparing a case against both Rana and Headley, with a view to trying them in India, Bansal told s in New Delhi.
"When the probe is over, we will produce the evidence in the court," he said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
A total of 166 people were killed and more than 300 when 10 heavily-armed belonging to the banned, Pakistain-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) stormed Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
The sole surviving gunman, Pak national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, was convicted of 'waging war' against India, murder, attempted murder and terrorism offences at a trial in Mumbai last year and sentenced to death.
Two Indian nationals who were on trial alongside him were acquitted of providing information to the attackers about targets, with their defence teams insisting that it was Headley who provided reconnaissance details.
But the trial judge ruled that implicating Headley was not admissible.
Rana still faces up to 30 years in jail, as the Chicago jury convicted him of helping the LeT to plan an attack on a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Headley was in 2009 and has admitted 12 terror charges after prosecutors agreed not seek the death penalty or allow him to be extradited to either India, Pakistain or Denmark to face related charges.
|Death sentence confirmed for Mumbai attacker|
|[Emirates 24/7] Two Indian judges on Monday confirmed the death sentence for the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 10 laid siege to the city, killing 166 people.|
Sounds fair. He participated in imposing a death penalty on 166 people who hadn't done anything.
The Bombay High Court dismissed the claim by Pak national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab that he was wrongfully convicted of taking part in the attacks, likened in India to those in the United States on September 11, 2001.
"No, really. They shoulda let me off on a technicality!"
"I dunno. You're the lawyers. Find one!"
The judges also threw out the state's appeal against a lower court's decision to acquit two Indian nationals accused of providing hand-drawn maps to the 10 .
Kasab, who did not attend the appeal for security reasons but was able to follow proceedings via video link, looked at the floor as the judgment was handed down, news channel NDTV said. "Harsh penalty of death is required in some cases, especially this one, and the court would be sending a wrong signal to society if any penalty less than death is given," judges Ranjana Desai and RV More said in their ruling. "Kasab has never shown any remorse after his arrest and we have observed that even on video conference he has not shown any signs of regret."
The 23-year-old was found guilty last May of a string of offences including waging war against India, murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts after a trial at a maximum security prison court in Mumbai. During the trial, the prosecution produced weighty fingerprint, DNA, eye-witness, CCTV and other evidence against him.
In the appeal, which began last October, Kasab's legal team asked for a retrial, arguing that his trial lawyer was not given sufficient time to wade through the 11,000-page charge sheet before the case began. They also claimed that prosecution evidence and witnesses were manipulated.
Under Indian law, death sentence cases have to be referred to the local state high court. The judges can uphold the sentence, reduce it, order a retrial or overturn the conviction.
Kasab has a further right of appeal to the Supreme Court in New Delhi and as a last resort to India's president for clemency.
One of his lawyers, Farhana Shah, told s outside court: "We will inform Kasab of his legal rights. Kasab has to decide. If he wishes (to appeal) he can do so."
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam flashed a victory sign on the court steps and described the judgment as a "historic verdict".
"Truth has prevailed," he said. "We appealed to the court that this was the rarest of rare cases and that he should be hanged, which the court approved."
India's home minister P. Chidambaram said the verdict was "a tribute to our legal system" and contrasted it with the trial of the alleged s in Pakistain, where he said there had been "no movement at all".
Prithviraj Chavan, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, also called on Pakistain to prosecute those responsible. India claims the banned, Pakistain-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba were behind the attacks, which led to the suspension of fragile peace talks between the two neighbours and rivals. New Delhi and Islamabad only this month agreed to resume dialogue.
Why? The victims aren't dead anymore? Hafiz Saeed is in jug waiting for the high jump?
Kasab was found to have been one of the two responsible for the bloodiest episode in the three-day attacks, when 52 people were killed at Mumbai's main railway station on November 26, 2008.
A number of senior Mumbai , including the head of the Maharashtra state anti-terrorism squad, were killed as the the scene of carnage.
Three luxury hotels, a popular tourist restaurant and a Jewish centre were also attacked.
In the case of Kasab's co-accused, the high court judges agreed with the trial judge that there was "no corroboration of evidence to prove involvement of Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed".
The men's defence teams had said a Pak-American man, David Coleman Headley, conducted the reconnaissance. He was in 2009 and has admitted to scouting out targets.
Chief minister Chavan said the state would appeal against the high court's decision to uphold the not guilty verdicts.
|Kasab wants to challenge death sentence: report|
|[Dawn] A Pakistani national sentenced to death by an Indian court for his part in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks has lodged an application to appeal, the Times of India said on Friday.|
The newspaper said prison authorities in India's financial capital had confirmed that Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab had approached the city's high court to challenge the sentence and apply for a state-funded lawyer.
Kasab was convicted last month of a string of offences, including waging war against India, mass murder, terrorist acts and conspiracy in connection with the November 26, 2008 attacks that killed 166 and injured more than 300.
The 22-year-old was the only one of the 10 extremist gunmen to be captured alive during the three-day assault, which targeted the city's main railway station, three luxury hotels, a popular restaurant and a Jewish centre.
No one was immediately available for comment at the high-security prison in central Mumbai where Kasab is being held when contacted by AFP.
Death sentences - reserved in India for only the "rarest of rare" cases - by law have to be confirmed by the local high court after reviewing the evidence.
Defendants have a right of appeal and can challenge the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court in the capital, New Delhi. A final plea for clemency can be made to the country's president.
Senior state government officials in Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, have said they want the verdict and sentence ratified swiftly, amid public calls for Kasab to be executed as soon as possible.
But questions have been raised about how long Kasab will be kept on death row, as India has not carried out an execution since 2004 and only two since 1998, while dozens of final clemency appeals are still pending.
The country also has a shortage of hangmen.
|Kasab could be hanged this year, says India|
|[Dawn] The lone surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks could be executed this year if he does not appeal his death sentence, a senior Indian government official said on Tuesday.|
Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, 22, was found guilty of waging war on India, mass murder, conspiracy and terrorism offences last week over the assault, which left 166 people dead and more than 300 injured.
Home secretary G.K. Pillai said Kasab's fate depended on whether the Pakistani national challenged the sentence through the higher courts and filed an appeal for clemency to the country's president.
"If he doesn't file any appeal anywhere I think the chances of him getting hanged this year are quite high," he told the CNN-IBN news channel in an interview.
Calls for swift justice have mounted in India since Kasab's conviction given the prospects of a lengthy, possibly open-ended, appeal in the courts and an apparent stay on executions.
Although it retains the death penalty, India has not carried out an execution since 2004 and only two since 1998. Dozens of death row prisoners are still waiting for a decision on their clemency appeals.
They include the killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991, and a Kashmiri separatist who attacked India's parliament in 2001.
The chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said last week that he would push for the sentence to be carried out.
"We would want Kasab hanged at the earliest. We will ask the Supreme Court to fast-track the hearing of appeal," Ashok Chavan told the Hindustan Times newspaper.
Kasab was one of 10 militants who attacked the city's main railway station, three luxury hotels, a popular tourist restaurant and a Jewish centre on November 26, 2008, sparking a bloody, three-day siege.
|Pakistain distances itself from condemned Mumbai gunman|
|[Dawn] Pakistan on Thursday distanced itself from the Pakistani gunman sentenced to hang over the 2008 Mumbai attacks but called for perpetrators of the siege to be brought to justice.|
An Indian judge imposed the death penalty against 22-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab on four counts of murder, waging war against India and conspiracy and terrorism offences.
"We would appreciate that our legal experts need to go through the detailed judgment," Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters in Islamabad when asked about the death sentence.
"Pakistan has strongly condemned the horrific Mumbai attack. It is important that culprits are brought to justice," he added.
Asked whether Pakistan would provide legal assistance to Kasab, or a Pakistani-American charged with terrorism in the United States over a failed New York bomb attack, however, Basit said distinctions needed to be made.
"It is incumbent upon the government of Pakistan to provide whatever assistance possible to all its nationals abroad.
"Having said that we need to draw a distinction as to where the assistance is required and where it is not," the spokesman said.
Pakistan has said it will soon consult India on fixing a date to meet with a view towards resuming a peace process, which New Delhi suspended after blaming the Mumbai carnage on Pakistani-based militants.
The prime ministers of India and Pakistan agreed to work towards resuming their frozen peace dialogue at their first direct talks in nine months, held last week on the margins of a regional summit in Bhutan.
India and the United States blamed Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-i-Taiba for the Mumbai attacks.
|Kasab: from school drop-out to Mumbai murderer|
|MUMBAI- Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was a school drop-out who now faces the death penalty for taking part in the bloodiest episode of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The 22-year-old Pakistani national was one of two heavily armed gunmen who opened fire and threw hand grenades at the city's main railway station on November 26, 2008, killing 52 people and wounding more than 100.|
Biographical details are sketchy but those that have come to light show that Kasab was born and brought up in Faridkot, in the Punjab region of Pakistan. His father, Mohammed Amir Iman, ran a food stall in the village and his mother was called Noor, according to the local electoral roll.
Kasab has reportedly said he joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to get weapons training after deciding to embark on a life of crime but there have also been claims that his father duped him into doing it for money.
His former lawyer suggested he may even have been brainwashed into carrying out the attacks.
|Kasab's home village slams Mumbai conviction|
|FARIDKOT: Farmers in the remote impoverished home town of the surviving gunman of the Mumbai massacre angrily denounced his conviction as a travesty of justice at the hands of “infidel” India on Monday.|
The town of Faridkot in the Pakistani farming belt of Punjab province has become notorious as the home of Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted of taking part in the November 2008 bloodbath that killed 166 people in Mumbai.
Power supplies were down due to Pakistan's dire electricity crisis, but the verdict was the talk of the town as people sat in shops and small restaurants along the main road awaiting news of his fate.
Minutes after the power spluttered back and as children in shabby clothes tussled in the unpaved road, news channels announced that the 22-year-old had been pronounced guilty of murder and waging war against India.
“This is all against Pakistan. Ajmal is a child and he cannot commit this incident,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a farmer in his late 50s. He was also angry at the acquittal of two Indian suspects.
“Why was there no equal sentence for all the culprits and why has only Ajmal been declared a criminal?” His small group were defensive, even outraged. Around 10,000 people live in the town, most of them labourers and farmers, few of them literate.
“It is discriminatory and it would be better to hand him over to Pakistan,” said another farmer, Muhammad Yasin, 46. “Neither should he be given the death
At one restaurant featuring a traditional tandoor oven, more than a dozen people sitting on benches and a large couch entered into a heated debate.
“This is wrong. India is biased,” said Muhammd Akram, 33, a local farmer, in between sipping a cup of tea.
Although he had no answer to who was responsible for the militant attack that plunged Indian-Pakistani relations to new depths, he said Kasab should be released. “He has done nothing. He was wrongly involved in the attacks.”
The previous day, a hawker in Faridkot distributed a weekly newspaper published by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, believed by Indian and US officials to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group blamed for the attacks.
“Are they talking about our Ajmal?” 45-year-old Noor Ahmed asked, interrupting fellow residents who were discussing the case.
“No. No. We don't know him,” he said, sitting on a dirty couch in a small brick-and-clay room on the banks of the local canal.
“But we have sympathies for him being Muslim.”Some residents said Kasab, like other young men dragged into the shadowy underworld of militant Islam, should be seen as a pawn, brainwashed by powerful jihadi groups.
“Look, don't blame him. There is nothing wrong if he did it with good intentions against an infidel country like India,” said Amjad Ali, a 60-year-old farmer with white hair.
“India is doing bomb blasts in Pakistan and it has also blocked Pakistan's water,” he said -- echoing the belief of many in Pakistan that its arch-rival is behind suicide attacks in the country and siphoning off of water resources.
One student claimed Kasab was a childhood friend who was in a group that used to swim in Faridkot's polluted canal and liked to throw other boys into the water. He believes Kasab was brainwashed.
“Definitely, the (Mumbai) incident created a bad impression for Pakistan and especially Faridkot,” the student said.
He called for the massacre's masterminds to be punished, and said it would be better if India extradited Kasab to Pakistan