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Ajmal kasab Justice
March 22, 2022

Kasab: An Attempt to Terrorise the Terrorist? Premlal Kuniyath PRAVASI 21 SABDAM verdict administrative issues soon surfaced, triggering yet another trial by the public at large. The media coverage of the conviction and sentencing of Kasab was in the same spirit as that of a T20 match, repeatedly airing the image of an erudite faced public prosecutor flashing the victory sign as if a major battle against terrorism has been won. The verdict and the sentencing, in fact, were foregone conclusions. But the hype projecting it as an extraordinary achievement was surprising. Having lost majority of its recruits in the operation, it was a closed chapter for the terror outfit that schemed and executed this heinous act. The lone survivor, who let himself be caught redhanded instead of sacrificing his life, was a loser to them. Kasab, from the very first day of the mission was like a ‘spent cartridge’.

Terrorists interpret Jihad as ‘holy’ war, and dying in Jihad as a ‘sacred sacrifice’! In the Mumbai terror attack, his partners in crime earned it on the same day, leaving Kasab to a delayed death. Unlike normal criminal activities, where the offender hides after committing the crime and denies his involvement to the last, in a terror strike, the group jumps to ‘claim credit’ and grab the ensuing publicity.

Defence on such admitted political missions seems alien to our judicial system. That was perhaps why Kasab was advised to change his statement several times to put up some sort of defence in an otherwise open and shut case. Ideally, the prosecution should have used this as an opportunity to analyse the perverted justification of ideologies, which choose to kill innocent human beings. War that is won sacrificing life is useless, if the warrior is not alive to reap its benefits. Otherwise it should be an act of intense compassion where one sacrifices own life for the sake of others. That was certainly not the case here.

There was not a shadow of grief or guilt in the eyes of those terrorists, leave alone compassion. They looked like zombies in a trance of corrupted religious cloud. Since details of the trial were being broadcast worldwide, terror groups could have been watching it as a logical challenge to their existence. Had the trial touched upon or challenged the ideologies of the terror groups holding nations to ransom, it could perhaps have invoked marginally at least, second thoughts in the minds of some of their potential criminals. Unfortunately that was not the case. The important question to ask in this circumstance, is what message has the verdict given to the potential terrorists.

Does it have the potential to terrorise them or deter them from undertaking any such jihadi actions? With nine out of ten terrorists having already succumbed to the bullets of the police, what big difference is it going to make to the lone survivor? Is death by hanging more threatening than the bullets? If any message could have been given to a potential terrorist, it was already given by the police by killing them in the encounter. If no lessons were learnt in spite of watching the so called jihadis succumbing to the bullets like stray dogs, the hanging is not going to give a bigger lesson. Moreover, while rejecting the plea for giving Kasab a chance for reformation, the Judge declared that the offender was beyond any reformation.

In the judicial capacity, a judge can, after perusing the evidence on record and hearing the arguments, conclude the accused as guilty and pass sentence accordingly. But the judge, without seeking the opinion of psycho therapists, or critically analysing the ideology that led Kasab to become such a criminal, declared him to be beyond reformation. The highest degree of punishment devised in the penal With nine out of ten terrorists succumbing to the police bullets, what difference is it going to make to the lone survivor? Kasab came prepared to die. Is death by hanging more threatening to him than a bullet? PRAVASI SABDAM 22 codes across the globe is death. The method of taking the life of a convict condemned to death varies from nation to nation.

India has adapted hanging as the method of capital punishment. Though, the thought of losing life can deter a potential criminal, it practically does not deter a committed terrorist. In the ordinary sense, a person commits a crime in a possessed state, when an emotion of revenge or greed overpowers his reasoning capacity. In the case of planned crimes, it is being committed with the clear knowledge of consequences of their action. With all the penal sanctions of the prohibited actions, crime rates never decrease. Criminals invent various methods to find shelter, while lawmakers go on devising fresh set of stringent laws adding newer definitions. The system was developed to stop the common man from taking law into his hands. The society collectively assumed the responsibility of declaring an accused to be unfit to live in the society or making him realise the mistake and allowing him to rejoin after reformation.

Either way retribution of a crime was not what was meant by the system. The recent trials in some sensational criminal cases first by media and then by the court definitely cast a shadow of doubt in the minds of the common man. Nonetheless, threat of punishment can work only in the case of those who get scared. Punishment of whipping may not work against a patient of leprosy. Similarly a person who is prepared mentally to commit suicide may not be afraid of being killed. The trends available show how terrorist groups train their volunteers to die in their movement, and how they preach that such a death ensures a place in the heaven. Such conditioned suicide attackers may not be afraid of death. The present line of punishments is devised for the ordinary criminals only, and it cannot deter the hardcore terrorists