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26/11 attacks: 3 years on, survivors await Kasab's execution

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Fri, Nov 25, 2011 08:19 hrs
NEWSMAKERS

Mumbai: Three years after Ajmal Amir Kasab and his accomplices convulsed the country's financial capital, the survivors of 26/11 terror attacks are still waiting for the day when the convicted Pakistani gunman will be hanged.

"Why is Kasab not hanged yet? What are we waiting for, another 26/11 type horrific attack? Kasab and his accomplices went on a rampage and shook every one of us. Why the government is not doing enough. Whenever I read anything about Kasab it just annoys me," 13-year-old Devika Rotwan, said.



On the ill-fated night of November 26, 2008 Devika's father Natwarlal was waiting at the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) here with his daughter and son Akash for a train, when two terrorists opened fire at the railway station.

Shot in the right leg, Devika, who was the youngest eye-witness to depose in the court, had to rely on crutches for a long time.

"I am fine today but still I face difficulty while walking. My studies are going good. But in the last three years, we have shifted our house four times as neighbours often complain and fear for their lives due to our presence," the eight grade girl, said.

For Kalpana Shah, who lost her husband Pankaj in the attacks at The Oberoi Hotel, it has not been easy to forgive and forget.

"I do miss my husband everyday. I will miss him throughout my life. The loss has been inevitable," Kalpana, who runs the Tao Art Gallery here, said.

"It has been three years...justice has not been delivered... Kasab is still alive. Justice is getting delayed and lots of money is being wasted on him," she said.

Sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court, Kasab is lodged in a special cell in the city's Arthur Road jail, the construction of which alone cost the state exchequer over Rs. 5.24 crore.

Bharat Waghela, who owns a chemist shop near Leopold Cafe, one of the first sites to be attacked, lost his brother Subhash on that day. His hope for justice has now stymied.

"I think the Kasab case would go the Afzal Guru way. The same process keeps on getting repeating for every accused and even in this case its the same. Even though a special fast track court was set up, the fate of Kasab is still hanging.. After Supreme Court, he will approach for mercy petition and this process will go on for years and years," Bharat said.

"I do not understand why he has been kept alive even till today. People saw him killing innocents. It is disheartening that he hasn't been punished for his crime," he said.

Jewish couple--Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivika's cook Qazi Zakir Hussain alias Jackie, a Muslim, who was there at the Chabad House, when two terrorists pulverised the Jewish centre mourns the death of his employers even as he wonders why Kasab is still around.

"The fantastic thing about our country is that good people like my employers - Rabbi and Rivika get killed and the evil ones like Kasab are having a good time in jail at the expense of the common man," Jackie said.

"Even Pakistan has said that Kasab should be hanged, then what are we waiting for," he questioned.

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