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Posted on Nov 21, 02:33PM | IBNS
India's main Opposition party BJP on Wednesday welcomed the hanging of the lone surviving terrorist in the 26/11 Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab, but stressed on the fact that his handlers in Pakistan should also be brought to justice.
"Better late than never. Kasab's hanging will act as a balm on the wounds of the people of Mumbai but their wounds are still fresh. They will get relief only when Kasab's handler's across the border are brought to justice," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, adding that Afzal Guru, accused in the 2001 Parliament attack case, should also be hanged soon.
BJP leader and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi also echoed Hussain's views. "What about Afzal Guru, who attacked Parliament, our temple of democracy, in 2001? That offence predates Kasab's heinous act by many years," Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Reacting to the hanging of lone surviving terrorist in the 26/11 Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday morning in Pune's Yerwada jail, India's external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said rule of law has been followed.
He told media that Pakistan ignored a fax message that had been sent to its Foreign Office on Kasab's execution.
"Everything has been done as per law. This shows the law applies to everyone the same," he said.
Khurshid said if Pakistan or the family of Kasab asks for the body, India will consider it.
"Right now, we don't have any such request. Our letter was not accepted by Pakistan foreign office," he said, adding that fax message was then sent.
Khurshid said he hoped that rule of law would prevail in Pakistan as well.
Kasab has been buried at Yerwada jail, where he was hanged on Wednesday morning, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said.
Earlier, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had told reporters that Kasab's body would be kept a while for the family to claim it. "If they don't then we will follow due procedure," he said.
Reports said the authorities followed the jail manual and Kasab was offered the option of contacting his family and putting down his will. He declined both.
Kasab had no last wish before he was hanged at Pune's Yerawada Jail at 7.30 am on Wednesday morning, said Maharashtra home minister R R Patil after the execution of the terrorist.
"He did not have any last wish," said Patil, adding that the central government was informed and the centre in turn has informed the Pakistan government.
"Justice has been done today," said Patil.
Asked why it was done with such secrecy, Patil said: "We kept it a secret because of security reasons and by hanging him today after due legal process we also proved that we can reply strongly to any attack on us by any external force."
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told a news channel that secrecy had been maintained over Kasab's execution because the government did not want to compromise the security situation in any way.
A total of 166 people including foreigners were killed in the attack on Mumbai in Nov 2008.
Kasab was the only among the 10 Pakistani gunmen who was captured alive after they went on a killing spree in Mumbai for nearly three days targetting luxury hotels, Jewish centres, railways stations and hospital.
South Mumbai was the main target as the attacks took place at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier's College.
Kasab, who is a Pakistan-groomed Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, was hanged after a four year long legal process and following rejection of his mercy petitions at every forum- from Supreme Court to the President.