Kasab recites Quran, offers prayers in jail ahead of verdict | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Kasab recites Quran, offers prayers in jail ahead of verdict

mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2011 10:23 IST

Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, whose fate is going to be decided by the Bombay High Court today for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks, got up early in the morning, offered prayers and recited verses of the Holy Quran in his cell at Arthur Road Jail.

"Kasab woke up early today and offered prayers in his cell", jail sources said. The High Court will deliver its verdict on the fate of Kasab today, nine months after he was awarded death penalty by the trial court for the death of 166 persons in the terror attacks.

The 24-year-old convict, hailing from Faridkot in Punjab province of Pakistan, would appear on screen before the court through the medium of video conference.

Kasab told his lawyer Farhana Shah on Saturday last that he would hear the verdict through video conference. He also appeared to be nervous and did not talk much, Shah said.

Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More of the Bombay High Court would also give verdict today on an appeal filed by Kasab against his conviction and death sentence.

The Judges would also pronounce judgement on an appeal filed by Maharashtra Government against the acquittal of Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, both Indians who were let off on ground of "doubtful evidence".

Meanwhile, security in and around the High Court has been tightened. The special branch of police has issued
passes to journalists and lawyers for entry into court 49 where the judgement would be delivered.

Kasab, an LeT operative, has been confined to jail since his arrest on November 26, 2008, when he was caught alive at Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai.

Nine others, who had come with Kasab, from Karachi in Pakistan by sea route, were gunned down by security forces at terror sites -- Hotels Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident and Jewish guest house Nariman House in South Mumbai.

No one from Kasab's family has come to meet him in India and neither he has expressed his desire to meet any one, his lawyer Farhana Shah said.

However, Kasab had told the High Court that he wished to be tried in a US court but did not elaborate. The court did
not consider his plea.

During arguments in the High Court, Kasab pleaded that this trial was "unfair" and demanded a fresh trial. He argued
that material evidence was suppressed and norms were not followed to defend him. However, the judges rejected his plea.

Kasab took a stand of total denial and disputed prosecution's story that he had landed with nine others in a
dingy at Badhwar Park on the day of terror attack. His lawyers Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah argued the evidence was concocted to frame Kasab in the case, saying the dingy was small and could not accommodate ten persons.

Kasab submitted that he come from Pakistan much before the terror attacks and was arrested at Juhu beach. He said he
was in custody when the terror attacks took place.

Government Counsel Ujjwal Nikam placed photographs and CCTV footages showing Kasab in terror acts. However, Kasab
argued that they had been morphed and his face was not clear.

The prosecution also relied on Kasab's confession before a Magistrate accepting his role in 26/11 attack and his
guilt plea before trial court admitting the crime.