India had informed in advance Pakistan and the family members of Ajmal Kasab about the decision to hang the 2008 Mumbai attack terrorist but Islamabad refused to acknowledge the letter, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today.
"The External Affairs Ministry through our mission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistan government about Kasab's hanging. When they did not accept the letter, they were communicated through fax," Shinde told reporters here, hours after the hanging of the only captured terrorist in the attack.
Union Home Secretary R K Singh said family members of Kasab, who live in Pakistan, had also been informed by Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
"His family members were communicated through courier by our High Commission. We have the receipt of the courier sent and that was later given to the Maharashtra government," Singh said.
Shinde said so far no one has claimed the body of 25-year-old Kasab and if Pakistan claims it, India would give it to the neighbouring country.
The Home Minister said there should not be any problem if Kasab is buried in India.
"I do not think there will be any trouble (if Kasab is buried in India) because India has suffered too much and everyone.... and this country has seen the tragedy. 166 people were killed during three days of the carnage" that began on November 26, 2008, he said.
Kasab was hanged in Pune's Yerawada jail at 7.30 AM, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said in Mumbai .
Giving the sequence of events leading to the execution this morning, Shinde said the Home Ministry had recommended to the President that he should reject Kasab's mercy petition which he did on November five.
"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 key.
In a brief official statement, the Home Ministry said the petition for clemency filed by condemned prisoner Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Amir Kasab was rejected by the President on November 5. The sentence was executed today at 7.30 a.m. At Yeravada Central Prison, Yeravada, Pune, it said.
Shinde said there were 10 attackers of whom one—Kasab-- was captured while nine others were killed during the three day crisis in November 2008.
"There was a through probe and court proceedings and after that a mercy petition was filed before the President," he said.
Asked how today's date was fixed for Kasab's hanging, Shinde said it was decided by the court earlier and that was mentioned in Kasab's file and the Home Ministry has confirmed it.
When asked whether the UPA government was trying to get political mileage through Kasab's hanging, Shinde said, "There is no question of mileage-taking. It was already decided."
The Home Minister refused to say anything on when a decision on Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru would be taken as his mercy petition was also pending before the President.
Minister of State Home Affairs RPN Singh that he looks at the entire process culminating in the hanging of Kasab as "victory" of the legal system of the country as well as India's fight against terror besides "some closure" to the victims of 26/11 and their families.
I look at it as a victory of the legal system of the country. This showcases that even a terrorist gets a full hearing in India before his conviction. This proves that in our country, a terrorist also gets more than a chance to be heard," Singh said.
He said that Kasab's conviction and his execution also "finally leads to some closure to the victims of 26/11 and theIR families".
"It also symbolises victory of India's fight against terror," Singh said.