New York: India should immediately reinstate its moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
India ended its eight−year unofficial moratorium on executions Wednesday when it hanged Ajmal Kasab, convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people.
"The hanging of Kasab marks a distressing end to India's moratorium on executions and is a step backwards for India's justice system," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"The government should take prompt and decisive action toward a total abolition of capital punishment."
Kasab, a Pakistani, was one of 10 gunmen who attacked Mumbai Nov 26, 2008, laying siege to the city for nearly three days. He was caught during the mayhem and sentenced to death in 2010.
"Capital punishment is an act of cruel, pre−meditated killing sanctioned by the law," Ganguly said.
"India can demonstrate to the world that it is as committed to justice as it is to economic development by joining with those nations that have decided to abolish the death penalty."
India executed Kasab just two days after it opposed a draft resolution by the UN General Assembly's human rights committee calling for a global moratorium on capital punishment.
Human Rights Watch said it opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an inherently irreversible, inhumane punishment.