Nine years ago, a 21-year-old boy, along with nine others of just about his age, put one of the busiest cities of the world on its knees by inflicting huge damage in a matter of 60 odd hours.
Born on July 13, 1987 Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, was a Pakistani, terrorist, and member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist group which is banned by the USA.
Birth and early life:
Kasab was born in Faridkot village in the Okara District of Pakistan Punjab. After a spat with his father in 2005, Ajmal Kasab left home. Thereafter, he engaged in petty crimes and later resorted to armed robbery.
On 21 December 2007 in Rawalpindi while trying to buy weapons, they encountered members of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, the political wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, distributing pamphlets.
According to various reports, Kasab’s father ‘sold’ him to Lashkar-e-Taiba so that he could use the money they gave him to support the family.
Induction in LeT and training:
Kasab was selected from among a group of 24-26 people and was in the elite 10 to be a part of the team that executed the deadly Mumbai terror act.
They received training in marine warfare at a remote camp in the mountainous terrains of Muzaffarabad. Part of the training also took place on the Mangla Dam reservoir.
The training consisted of psychological indoctrination to Islamist ideas, basic combat, advanced training, and commando training.
They also received training in swimming and sailing, besides the use of high-end weapons and explosives under the supervision of LeT commanders.
26/11 Mumbai terror attack:
Ajmal Kasab was at the forefront of the Mumbai terror attack, which started with assault at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus that killed 58 people.
Photographer Shriram Vernekar of The Times of India clicked a photo of Ajmal Kasab showed him carrying an AK-47 rifle.
After the CST attack, Kasab and his mate in crime Ismail Khan headed towards Cama Hospital where they couldn’t kill innocents as the nurses there already locked up the patients in one room.
After killing eight police personnel, including Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, at the Cama hospital, Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan took two constables as hostages in a Qualis (police van). After that Kasab and Khan drove towards the Metro cinema.
The two fired some shots into a crowd gathered at the Metro cinema.
Kasab was captured alive while crossing a police barricade at Girgaum Chowpatty.
Trial and Execution
Kasab's plea for clemency was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 5, 2012. November 21 was fixed for the execution, and the Indian government faxed the decision to the Pakistani Foreign Office.
The trial of Ajmal Kasab was based on CCTV footage showing him marching across the CST railway station with an AK-47 and a backpack.
By the end of 2008, Ujjwal Nikam was appointed as the special Public Prosecutor for trying Kasab and Justice M.L. Tahaliyani was appointed as the judge for the case.
An 11,000 page charge sheet was submitted by Indian investigators and Kasab was charged with murder, conspiracy and waging war against India along with other crimes.
On May 6 2010, Kasab was sentenced to death by the Bombay Metropolitan Magistrate Court.
A Bombay High Court bench consisting of Justice Ranjanaa Desai and Justice Ranjit More, heard Kasab's appeal against the death penalty and upheld the sentence given by the trial court in their verdict on 21 February 2011.
He was secretly transferred to Yerwada Jail in Pune under heavy security in the wee hours of November 19.
As planned, Kasab was hanged on November 21, 2012 at 7:30 am and was buried at a secret location in the jail premises.