Should Kasab be hanged?

by Ritwik on July 28, 2009


Last week there was much drama following the unexpected courtroom confession of Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’.  By owning up to his crimes, the terrorist managed to take the court and the public prosecutor by surprise. Kasab, who had pleaded not guilty on an earlier occasion, wished that he given the death penalty, ostensibly to ease his feeling of ‘guilt’.

Maharashtra chief minister  Ashok Chavan too expressed a desire for the quick completion of the trial, resulting in the hanging of the accused.

The rationale for awarding the death penalty to Kasab is strong. His crime unquestionably falls into the “rarest of rare” category, which is the Supreme Court mandated requirement for a criminal to be hanged unto death.

According to our legal system, Kasab should be hanged for the sheer barbarity, audacity and scale of his crime. For the fact that he and his accomplices crossed into foreign territory, fired indiscriminately at innocent civilians, killed persons in uniform and tried to destroy heritage structures and take hostages.

Hanging Kasab would presumably provide closure to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the Mumbai attacks.

Ujjwal Nikam, the public prosecutor in the case, has argued that Kasab confessed to win sympathy and somehow avoid the death penalty.

I think he misses the point entirely, or more probably, chooses to gloss over Kasab’s true intentions.

It is an inconvenient truth that young boys like Kasab are systematically brainwashed using a potent mixture of religious and national ‘pride’. Such recruits and their families are assured of the “glory” of the mission and their place in history. It is repeatedly drilled into impressionable young minds that their “sacrifice” would not be in vain and would in fact corner the highest rewards. They would be honoured forever as heroes and martyrs.

Few things match the appeal of the idea of sacrificing one’s life while fighting for a cause.

Thus in many ways, the people and the ideology which converted Kasab into a cold blooded killer would actually want him dead. Used once, he is not of any utility to them; his death though would presumably give them another “martyr” whose “memory” would serve to inspire countless others.

In light of this, though I can see the legal and sentimental reasons which demand that Kasab be hanged, I sometimes wonder, whether Kasab should be given life imprisonment [for the extent of his natural lifetime, without an option of parole]? This would send out a message that we are ready to fight terrorism ideologically, not just legally. This would be one example which would hopefully force terrorist masterminds to ponder and maybe recalibrate their strategies.

At least, we would, for once, be taking the initiative in the so called “war” against terrorism.


Your point is well taken. But, in this case I would argue that death penalty is cost effective. The cost of patrol etc. What if Kasab escapes? *gasp* Or maybe a Kandahar type threat, where our ‘opposition’ would try and ‘recapture’ Mr. Kasab. There are multiple issues here, quite complex.

by Aaditya on July 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm. #

Every criminal ought to be hanged if “cost effectiveness” of detaining them vis a vis hanging is considered. Keeping a person in jail even for a couple of days is costlier than a length of rope, after all.

A Kandahar type threat is a more credible argument, but the government has now decided not to negotiate with those demanding the release of terrorists. My argument is based on the assumption that the government would stick to its word on this, but yes, I take the point that keeping Kasab alive is a security risk to a certain extent.

by Ritwik Agrawal on July 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm. #

1. Worth to spread and indeed great article, i heard from some indian sources here that the terrorists father or related members had been telling him (ajmal) that is mothers sides families were killed along the paki -indian border, in a village by indian troops in 1965. So, he went to a jihadi group and wanted to perform some kind of revenge jihad, the group provided easy access to weapons and more moral support. And after doing some research, i and many paki and indian friends found reasonable evidence of this. the indian army killed some 300 innocent villagers when we attacked pakistan in 65. ofcourse, they had some daggers, and traditional farming tools, they were no match for surprise attack, like what the 12 terrorists did in Mumbai. but ajmal and many more want and want revenge … the pakis tell me if the government will not highlight, then india will suffer more like in Mumbai. what is too happen we need to really secure our borders. A retired army living in canada, says it took 3 minutes to over run that village killing innocent farmers. this is the news on ground bases

by taramansingh on August 16, 2009 at 10:45 am. #

Just seems right to come here today. Kasab has been given the death penalty. I don’t know about his becoming a martyr but it is a step in the war against terror. The idea that nonsense won’t be tolerated.
Lawyers throw about so much rhetoric though. There were marathi writers and hamlet being quoted to make a case for hanging kasab.

by Neelakshi on May 6, 2010 at 2:36 pm. #

i feel kasab should be hanged dis info was useful 2 me

by raashi shah on July 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm. #

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