Mumbai: Family members of senior policemen killed in 2008 Mumbai attacks expressed satisfaction over the execution of the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, saying justice had finally been delivered.
India hanged Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the only militant to have survived the 2008 attacks on Mumbai at the Yerawada Prison in Pune on Wednesday.
In August, India's Supreme Court upheld Kasab's death sentence over the attack on a string of targets in Mumbai that killed 166 people. Kasab was a Pakistani national who said he belonged to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The execution at Yerawada Prison in Pune, near Mumbai, came after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected a mercy plea by Kasab, who had said he belonged to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The news of Kasab's execution brought relief to the relatives of the policemen who lost their lives in the attacks.
Wife of slain encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, who was killed in 2008 Mumbai attacks, Smita Salaskar heaved a sigh of relief and expressed gratitude to the President Pranab Mukherjee and Interior Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for having the courage to take this long-pending decision.
Salaskar was among the first, who fell victim to the bullets of the militants during the Mumbai attacks.
"I felt that justice has been delivered. It was unexpected and I felt satisfied that at least somebody has the courage to take this decision. So, I am happy with the decision. I would like to thank President Pranab Mukherjee and Interior Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for trying their best to get us justice," she said, while speaking in Mumbai.
Many foreigners, some of India's wealthy business elite, and poor train commuters were killed by 10 Pakistani gunmen in a three-day rampage through some of Mumbai's best-known landmarks, including two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre.
On the other hand, Jayant Harshe, brother-in-law of Chief of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Mumbai, Hemant Karkare, said that while justice had been delayed, it had been finally delivered.
Doubts about the circumstances in which Karkare was killed were raised by some political leaders and a probe was also demanded.
"I felt very happy. I feel that Kasab's hanging is a case of better late than never. It took four years for the verdict, though the decision should have been taken within a year's time. Our family faced a lot of trouble, but today we felt that justice has been delivered," he said.
Kasab was filmed walking through Mumbai's main train station carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a knapsack on his back. Nearly 60 people were gunned down in the crowded station.
Kasab's execution happened very quickly for India's usually glacial justice system. Three people convicted of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are still on death row, 21 years after he was killed by a suicide bomb.
Kasab was found guilty on more than 80 charges in May 2010, including murder and waging war on India, and was sentenced to death by hanging.
It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004.
India accuses Pakistan-based militants of organizing the attacks, saying Islamabad is failing to act against those behind the raids. Pakistan denies involvement and says it is prosecuting seven suspected militants for their role. (ANI)