Life has come a full circle for Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil. After 26/11 he had lost his post as state Home minister. A year and a half later, Patil is more careful and politically correct as he talks to HT on Ajmal Amir Kasab’s conviction, co-accused Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed’s acquittal and the state’s next move.
Your reaction to the Kasab judgement…
It is a historical record of sorts and the judgment is welcomed.
Will the state appeal against the acquittal of co-accused, Ansari and Ahmed?
They have been given the ‘benefit of doubt’.
Our lawyer, investigating officers and police are of the opinion that we have strong evidence against them. We will read the judgment copy, consult our legal department and decide on going for an appeal in the next three days.
You say there was strong evidence against Ansari and Ahmed, so did the investigators and lawyer fall short?
Our lawyer — the public prosecutor — has done a good job... but we will see how they [Ansari and Ahmed] got the ‘benefit of doubt’ and then take a decision.
What about Kasab’s co-conspirators in Pakistan?
Through the state government we will appeal to the Centre to ask the Pakistani government to hand over the 20 co-conspirators to India.