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Posted on Nov 21, 07:25PM | IANS
Condemning the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist from the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem, civil rights organisations here Wednesday demanded abolition of capital punishment in India.
"We strongly condemn the hanging of Kasab, it is against the worldwide demand for abolition of the death penalty, it is also a retrograde action of the state - it restarted implementation of 'judicial murder' which was kept in limbo for quite sometime," Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) secretary member Ranajit Sur said in a statement.
"Only yesterday (Tuesday) UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for moratorium on death penalty and Kasab hanging is our rulers' answer. Raise voices of protest," added Sur.
Hours after Kasab was hanged in a Pune jail, Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US-based rights group, issued a statement urging India to remove the death penalty from its legal framework.
"For a crime as serious and horrible as what Kasab committed, he deserved a life in prison. Don't think that is a lighter sentence. India should join other nations that have stopped the use of the capital punishment," HRW South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly wrote on Twitter.
India was among the 39 countries that voted Nov 19 against a UN General Assembly draft resolution which called for abolishing the death penalty, saying every nation had the "sovereign right" to determine its own legal system.
The non-binding resolution called for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. It was adopted Monday at the General Assembly's Third Committee, which deals with social and humanitarian issues, after 110 nations voted in favour of the resolution while 36 abstained.
Pakistani national Kasab was hanged in a Pune jail at 7.30 a.m. Wednesday, after his mercy plea was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month.
Kasab's end came five days before the fourth anniversary of the brutal terror attacks that claimed 166 lives and injured 300 people. Nine of his fellow Pakistani terrorists, who had sneaked into Mumbai for the three-day carnage, were secretly buried in the city in January 2010 after Pakistan refused to accept their bodies.