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Photo: PTI

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist captured during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was finally executed this year. Kasab was hanged at Pune’s Yerwada jail on November 21, 2012 in a hush-hush affair titled ‘Operation X’.

Operation X
The secret mission ‘Operation X’ was planned on November 12, after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Kasab’s mercy petition on November 5. The execution came five days before the fourth anniversary of the ill-fated attacks. Only 10 people were present during the operation, which took place at 7:30 in the morning. Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde broke the news to the media of Kasab’s death, after it was all over

The Kasab trial: Why it took so long to hang him
It took four years for Kasab to finally head to the gallows. Why it was not done sooner, became a national debate since the trial alone, had been a dramatic affair. From changing lawyers to retracting confessions, the trial finally came to an end in August when the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty. Here’s a quick look at the events that led to D-Day…

2008

November 27: Police capture Ajmal Kasab alive at 1: 30 am and admits him to Nair hospital.

November 29: Police take statement from Kasab. Kasab confesses that he got trained in Pakistan and reveals the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba in the attacks.

November 29: Security forces secure all places under attack. Nine terrorists were killed.

December 27: Police conducts identification parade.

2009
January 13 : M.L. Tahaliyani appointed Special Sessions Court judge for Mumbai attacks case.

Janaury 16: Arthur Road Jail selected for the trial of Kasab.

February 5: Kasab’s DNA samples match with articles found in Kuber.

February 20/21: Kasab makes confession before magistrate.

February 22: Ujjwal Nikam appointed Special Public Prosecutor.

February 25: Chargesheet running into 11,000 pages was filed against Kasab.

April 15: Anjali Waghmare removed as Kasab’s lawyer.

April 17: Trial resumes after Abbas Kazmi appointed defence councel.

April 17: Kasab retracts confession.

April 20: Prosecution charges Kasab on 312 counts.

April 29: Experts say Kasab is major.

May 6: Charges framed, Kasab charged on 86 counts, but denies charges.

May 8: First eyewitness identifies Kasab.

November 30: Abbas Kazmi removed as Kasab’s lawyer.

December 1: K P Pawar takes place of Kazmi.

December 16: Prosecution completes its case in 26/11.

2010
March 31: Trial concludes in 26/11 case.

May 3, 2010: Kasab convicted.

May 6: Kasab was convicted and given capital punishment by trial court.

2011
February 21: Bombay High Court upholds trial court’s decision on Kasab’s death sentence.

October 10: SC stays execution of the death sentence awarded to Kasab

2012
February 23: SC hears intercepted conversations between the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and their Pakistani handlers, watched the CCTV footage of the carnage.

August 29: Supreme Court upholds decision on Pakistani gunman’s capital punishment

October 16: Union Home Ministry recommends

November 5: President rejects Kasab’s mercy plea

November 8: Maharashtra government informed about President’s decision.

November 21: Ajmal Kasab was hanged at Yerawada jail in Pune at 7:30 am

Kasab and his famous biryani
During his stay in a special cell created only for him, the terrorist continued to make news. He allegedly threw tantrums, refused jail food and even asked for mutton biryani. The cost of keeping Kasab alive was, according one report, a whopping Rs 26 crores and this invited a lot of public ire. Another of his crazy demands included wanting a rakhi tied on his wrist on Rakshabandhan. The 25-year-old terrorist was known for his composed demeanour and was reportedly, always joking with the jail officials

“Allah-kasam mujhe maaf kar do, aisi galti dubara nahi hogi”
Kasab’s last wish was to meet his family members, but that did not happen as the Pakistani government did not respond to the request. The terrorist’s last words were “Allah-kasam mujhe maaf kar do, aisi galti dubara nahi hogi” (by God, forgive me, such a mistake will not happen again).

Kasab’s execution came as closure to 26/11 victims and families of the deceased. The nation erupted in celebration though a section of media remained miffed that they were kept in the dark

Also see
Lesser known facts about Ajmal Kasab

Best toons on 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab

Ajmal Kasab: The trial as it unfolded

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