Mohammed Ajmal Kasab is shown in Mumbai in this undated photo.(Photo: AP)
MUMBAI, India -- India executed the lone surviving Pakistani
gunman from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, providing
Indians much-needed closure over the three-day rampage that shook the
nation's core and deepened enmity with neighbor Pakistan.
blames a Pakistan-based militant organization for the attacks carried
out by Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and his comrades that killed 166 people at a
train station, a Jewish center and two luxury hotels in its financial
capital. India accuses Pakistan's intelligence agency of training,
arming and sponsoring the attackers, allegations Pakistan denies.
a Pakistani citizen, was hanged in secrecy at 7.30 a.m. at a jail in
Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
rejected his plea for mercy.
Indian authorities faced public
pressure to quickly execute Kasab, and the government fast-tracked the
appeal and execution process, which often can take years, or in some
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the
home ministry sent Kasab's mercy plea to Mukherjee on Oct. 16 and
Mukherjee rejected it on Nov. 5.
"It was decided then that on 21st
November at 7:30 in the morning he would be hanged. That procedure has
been completed today," Shinde said.
R.R. Patil, the home minister
for the state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, called the
execution a tribute to "all innocent people and police officers who lost
their lives in this heinous attack on our nation."
Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said the Indian government had
attempted to inform Pakistani officials of the impending execution, but a
fax sent to Pakistan's foreign office went unanswered. He said the
government had also informed Kasab's next of kin.