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State to appeal against acquittals

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2011 01:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Welcoming the Bombay high court’s verdict to confirm death sentence for lone surviving 26/11 attacker, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said the state would appeal against the acquittal of two accused, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.

“I congratulate special public prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam and his team as well as the high court for disposing of the case within three months,” Chavan said. “I also discussed the issue of acquittal of the two accused with Nikam. The government will appeal against it in the Supreme Court.”

The high court upheld the trial court’s verdict awarding the death sentence to Kasab, who was one of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists who attacked the city on November 26, 2008.

Chavan said the Centre should now pressurise Pakistan to bring the conspirators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks to book, adding that the government was taking steps to ensure that such incidents do not take place in Mumbai again.

Home minister RR Patil said the state government will be appealing to the Centre for quick implementation of the order.

“We do not want this to take more time and so we are going to request the Centre to put this case on priority. If Kasab decides to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court, we will follow suit,” Patil said.

Patil said no decision has been taken on shifting Kasab to another jail.

“We are yet to have a meeting on that issue. Nothing is decided,” the home minister said.

The government had last year contemplated shifting Kasab to Yerawada jail in Pune citing security problems at Arthur Road jail.

The Opposition also expressed satisfaction over the high court’s decision to confirm the death sentence awarded to Kasab, but criticised the government for the Ansari and Ahmed’s acquittal.

“We are satisfied with the high court verdict. It has taken more than two years to reach this stage. The public wants Kasab to be hanged soon,” Subhash Desai, spokesperson and senior leader of the Shiv Sena, said.

“That the court dismissed the appeal against Faheem and Sabauddin is a huge failure of the home department because they could not produce corroborative evidence against them.”

State Bharatiya Janata Party president, Sudhir Mungantiwar, said: “Justice has been served but it is now important that the government takes action to ensure that the main perpetrators of this incident, who are in Pakistan, are brought to book.”