7:30 a.m. in Pune Jail -by Gulbaz Mushtaq


Now when Muhammad Ajmal Amir Kasab has been executed away from his motherland on alien soil, his terror is over. His death should have earned him some respect before his enemies, though; his own people have refused to own him –even refused to accept his deadbody. Sadly, it is not because they consider his deeds to be wrong; it is their hypocrite mentality which prevents them from accepting him, his deadbody and reality. His body is buried in a compound of Yerwada Jail, Pune leaving behind a sad story of a dedicated angry young man. He met death in an honourable way but, unfortunately, not for an honourable cause.

As the reports indicate, on the morning of his execution, Ajmal Kasab was not scared or pale. He offered prayer and was ready to embrace his death. Though nervous, in the final minutes before his execution, he remained calm when brought to the gallows. Standing before the noose, a quite-Ajmal Kasab’s eyes stayed downcast. He neither made any last requests nor wrote a will. He did not struggle, or plead for mercy. A noise of silence was prevailing in atmosphere of Yerwada Jail, Pune that morning.

A staffer at the jail covered his head with traditional black hood and tightened the noose around his neck … the executioner was ready to pull the lever of trapdoor.

Despite his unashamed and remorseless state at the time of his death, he was to bring shame for his nation and surely an unforgettable regret to his poor father who failed to provide him new cloths on Eid when he was just an eighteen year old boy. The angry young man left the home. Later a twenty-one-year old Ajmal Kasab would reveal to his interrogators in Mumbai, “we were told that our big brother India is so rich and we are dying of poverty and hunger. My father sells dahi wadaon a stall in Lahore and we did not even get enough food to eat from his earnings”.

Unlike his name and acts, full of horror, he was a delighted young man. Before leaving for Mumbai Mission, he would show his wrestling and karate skills to fellow youth in the village. He was not a religious fanatic. Mumbai police officials say, “when we asked whether he knew any verses from the Quran that described jihad, Kasab said he did not”. According to them, he did not know much about Islam or its tenets. Sadly, yet he was turned into a bullet-quoted-with-religion to kill. The ambitious young man’s rational was suppressed or taken away by those who prepared it for this noble cause – a cause which is only noble to them. His innocence was vanished away and he was to enter in Mumbai as an ‘angel of death’.

On night of November 26, 2008, he was roaming around Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai railways station firing bullets and throwing grenades on his victims. He then, along with his accomplice Ismail Khan, moved on to attack a police vehicle at Cama Hospital killing Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police Ashok Kamte in a gun battle. After killing them and taking two constables hostage, Kasab and Ismail Khan drove towards Metro cinema. The hostage police personnel would later disclose that Kasab joked about the bulletproof vests worn by the police. From Metro Cinema, they drove towards Vidhan Bhavan where their vehicle had a tire puncture, so they stole a car and drove towards Girgaum Chowpatty. Kasab reportedly fired shots on crowd while roaming around on roads of Mumbai.

Near Girgaum Chowpatty, the attackers encountered a police barricade. In the gun battle, Ismail Khan was killed while injured Kasab lay on ground playing dead. Later, he would reportedly tell police that though he was trained to “kill to the last breath”, he threw up the moment he saw all the blood and gore; and that he could not bear the sight of dead bodies and after creating enough havoc wanted to go back to Pakistan.

One could imagine, from the way daring Kasab conducted the terror operation, that how extraordinary courage and martial skills he possessed. Isn’t true had he been given opportunity, he could serve the nation in a better way and could be a great resource to it? Had he been in different circumstances, he could be a fearless commando or a brave police officer – and a proud for his nation? He was not born to die as a condemned terrorist. At least he did not spend his life as a terrorist.

Born to a poor family of a dahi puri vendor, Kasab was a normal child of his parents. And like every young man of his age, he loved his mother and missed her whenever felt pain. His parents must have never wanted him to die as a condemned terrorist. But here he is standing before the noose, in Pune jail, to die as a punishment for killing innocent people and waging war against India. Surely someone recruited him for cross-border terrorism in the name of Jihad. Will those recruiters and their sponsors and protectors be ever brought to justice?

Reports say Kasab was formally informed of his execution on 12 November, after which he requested Indian officials to inform his mother. On the night of 18–19 November, a senior prison official at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai read Kasab’s death warrant to him, informing him at the same time that his petition for clemency had been rejected. Kasab was then asked to sign his death warrant, which he did. He was secretly transferred under heavy guard to Yerwada Jail in Pune, arriving in the early morning of 19 November. A police official on duty with Kasab told media that he did not emote much or display any remorse. He did not shed a single tear during the last few days.

On morning of 21 November, he was brought to gallows to face the death. It was 7:30 a.m. local time, when executioner pulled the leaver of trapdoor. Far away from the gallows of Pune jail, somewhere in the Land of Pure, exactly at that time a heart must have burst with pain – his mother’s heart.

Note: Assistance is taken from Wikipedia.com while writing this article.

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