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Monday, May 3, 2010

Kasab guilty in 26/11 case, two Indians acquitted

Mumbai:Pakistani national Ajmal Amir Kasab was Monday declared guilty on 83 of 86 charges, including murder and waging war against the Indian state, in the November 2008 terror attack by a special court that acquitted the two other accused -- Indians Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.
Kasab, 23, the lone Pakistani captured alive after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike, listened attentively with his bowed while Special Judge M.L. Tahalyani read out the 1,522-page verdict over almost three hours. He went through each of the charges against the three accused separately.

Kasab has been found guilty of killing at least 59 people in the 26/11 carnage that saw 166 Indians and foreigners being massacred and more injured.

Ansari and Ahmed, who were also in court, were set free. They had been charged with conspiracy in the terror attacks - preparing maps of the targeted locations and handing these to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives.

The special judge said Ansari and Ahmed have been 'forthwith acquitted from the case and allowed to be set free if they are not wanted in any other case'.

The judge also accepted the confession Kasab had given after his arrest. The court ruled that the role of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Kasab's Pakistani handlers had been established by the prosecution.

Kasab was charged on 86 counts, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including waging war against the nation. Besides, he faced charges under the Explosives Act, the Arms Act, the Passport Act, the Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act, the Customs Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Bombay Police Act, the Foreigners Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The 60-hour audacious attack that began on the night of Nov 26, 2008 and went on till the afternoon of Nov 29, 2009 was carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists including Kasab.

They targeted sites like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Hotel Oberoi-Trident, the Cama Hospital and the Chabad House, a Jewish prayer centre, and the popular hangout Leopold Caf�.

The trial of Kasab - the only among the 10 who survived - started April 15, 2009 and was completed March 31 this year, after nearly seven months of hearings, excluding breaks and vacations.

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