Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman caught alive after the Mumbai terror attack, was hanged to death at the Yerawada central prison here in a top-secret operation on Wednesday morning, less than a week before the fourth anniversary of the carnage.
25-year old Kasab was hanged at 7.30 am, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said in Mumbai shortly after the hanging. Pakistan government was kept informed about the execution.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Kasab was buried inside the Yeravada jail premises.
Kasab did not have any last wish or a will, Chavan told reporters in Mumbai.
The execution in the Mumbai attack trial brought closure to many people affected by the audacious strike by 10 terrorists of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in which 166 people were killed.
Nine LeT men were killed during the 60-hour siege which began on the night of 26th November 2008.
Kasab was executed after he exhausted all legal remedies available to escape the noose with President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting his mercy plea on 5th November.
Kasab, who has been lodged at the Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai ever since his arrest soon after the terror attack, was whisked out of his heavily-guarded cell in the intervening night of 18th and 19th November, a senior police official said.
The team, along with Kasab, reached Pune’s Yerwada jail in the wee hours of 19th November.
“The President rejected the mercy petition on November 5. I signed it on November 7 and on November 8, the Maharashtra government had been communicated to take action. It was decided that he would be executed on November 21 at 7.30 AM. and accordingly the whole process has been completed today,” Shinde said, adding secrecy about the hanging was a key.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said according to legal requirements, India informed Pakistan Government and Kasab’s family about the “inevitable event” of his execution.