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Kasab unaware about Supreme Court upholding his death sentence

Though the Supreme Court upholding the death sentence awarded to Amir Ajmal Kasab - the sole surviving Pakistani gunman in the 26/11 terror attacks- hit headlines across the globe, the man who will be sent to the gallows was oblivious of the development.
Hindustan Times | By Mohamed Thaver, Mumbai
UPDATED ON AUG 29, 2012 10:24 PM IST

Though the Supreme Court upholding the death sentence awarded to Amir Ajmal Kasab - the sole surviving Pakistani gunman in the 26/11 terror attacks- hit headlines across the globe, the man who will be sent to the gallows was oblivious of the development.

As per protocol, authorities at the Arthur Road jail, where Kasab is lodged for the past near-four years, will have to wait to get the hard copy of the Supreme Court judgement, and handed it over to Kasab, before they disclose him the judgement. Considering the judgement copy will be sent from Delhi by post, it may take another day or two, before Kasab knew his fate.

The Superintendent of Arthur Road jail, where Kasab is placed in a high security cell, CA Rane confirmed to HT that Kasab had not been informed about the death sentence. “As per procedure, we will have to break the news of the death sentence before the convict along with the valid paperwork. We will have to pass him a copy of the judgement, in case he wishes to appeal against the judgement. Also we will need to get his signature on the receipt, indicating that he has received the order copy.”

When questioned if Kasab could learn about the judgement through some others sources, a senior official at the Arthur road jail said, “ Kasab does not have access to newspapers or television. He is kept in solitary confinement, which means none of the other inmates in the prison can inform him about the judgement copy.”

He also denied the possibility of the news trickling down to Kasab by one of the Indo Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) personnel guarding his cell. “There are strict instructions given to those guarding his cell to ensure they do not engage in conversation with him. Even if he asks something, no one will tell him anything,” added the officer. The officer added that he was not sure Kasab was even aware that his judgement was on Wednesday.

Earlier when the High court upheld the death sentence awarded to Kasab by a trial court, he immediately knew about it, as he connected to the court through video conferencing. During the death sentence awarded to him during the trial court, Kasab was present in person, after a bomb proof underground tunnel had famously been constructed to ensure he reaches the special court at the Arthur road jail.

When questioned about the mood of the other inmates at the Arthur road jail- which houses only under trails- the officer said, “There was not much reaction amongst the inmates or the jail staff as for most of us, his death sentence is a foregone conclusion. At a certain level, we are sure even Kasab knows that sooner or later he would be awarded the death sentence.”

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