Hours after Pakistani Ajmal Kasab was hanged in Pune, Human Rights Watch urged India to remove the death penalty from its legal framework.
"The hanging of Kasab marks a concerning end to the country's moratorium on capital punishment," said a statement from the US-based rights group issued in India.
"Instead of resorting to the use of execution to address heinous crime, India should join the rising ranks of nations that have taken the decision to remove the death penalty from their legal frameworks," it added.
Nearly four years after the Mumbai terror attack, Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani gunman, was hanged to death at the Yerawada central prison in Pune this morning in an operation shrouded in secrecy.
25-year old Kasab was hanged at 7.30 am, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said in Mumbai shortly after the hanging.
Pakistan government was kept informed about the execution.
The execution in the Mumbai attack trial brought closure to many in the audacious strike by 10 terrorists of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in which 166 people were killed. Nine LeT men were killed during the 60-hour siege which began on the night of November 26, 2008.
The prison authorities remained tight-lipped about the details of hanging performed in a well-guarded secret operation amid reports that Kasab did not have any death wish.
Kasab was executed after he exhausted all legal remedies available to escape the noose with President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting his mercy plea following the advice of the Union home ministry.
(With inputs from IANS)