At 12.45 pm on Thursday, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab (22) walked bare feet into the special court on the Arthur Road central prison premises.
Wearing the same pair of kurta-pyjama he wore when the court pronounced him guilty on Monday; Kasab slumped into the bench inside the dock.
Hanging his head low, supported by the palm of his right hand, he seemed oblivious to the fact that the court was to decide his fate.
Special judge M L Tahiliyani started the proceedings by asking defence lawyer K.P. Pawar to ask Kasab if he wished to tell anything to the court before the sentence was pronounced.
When Pawar approached the dock and asked Kasab, he stood and shook his head in negative.
Just as Pawar turned to tell the court that he did not wish to say anything, Judge Tahiliyani told Kasab: “You have been found guilty on five counts of offences for which you can be hanged to death. Do you want to say anything?” The Pakistani national slumped back into the bench without replying.
As the court listed the “brutality” he had unleashed on the city on November 26, 2008, along with nine associates, killing 166 people, Kasab remained defiant.
He did not look up even once.
Kasab showed some emotion only when Judge Tahiliyani, while pronouncing the sentence, said: “...to keep such a person alive is a menace and a danger for the state and the society.”
Kasab then broke down.
Burying his face in his left palm he started sobbing.
Minutes later, he wiped his tears and regained his posture — a blank, uninterested expression.
After the judge declared that Kasab is to be “hanged by his neck until he is dead,” he whispered to one of the four police watchers — who keep an eye on him when he is inside the dock — that his ears were aching.
When the policemen did not pay heed to him, Kasab started pestering one of them to let him out.
“He kept saying ‘Mujhe bahar nikalo, mujhe pani peena hai (Get me out of here, I want to drink water)’,” the police watcher later told Hindustan Times, requesting anonymity.