Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has said the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving perpetrator of the 26/11 attacks, was the culmination of a due process and not a "question of timing".
He was answering a question on whether the secret decision to carry out Kasab's death sentence came at a politically convenient time, with an ensuing Parliament session and general election in 2014.
Speaking to HT on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India, Tewari said, "Looking at the timing of the decision is not right. It is a message that as a society and country, we uphold the rule of law."
Tewari said the Mumbai attacks were a horrific crime and they got subjected to due processes of law. "Kasab's case went through three tiers of judicial process...the trial courts, the high court and then the highest court. The government dutifully carried out the verdict."
Kasab's hanging on Wednesday, done without a word going out, brings closure to what is often described as India's 9/11. It could give the UPA government a leg-up in the face of political opposition. The BJP had frequently questioned the government's delay in carrying out the death sentence.
Asked why the government was avoiding a decision on the death sentence of Afzal Guru, the man convicted for the attack on Parliament, Tewari said, "I am sure the appropriate ministry at the appropriate time will respond to this question."