While the execution of 26/11 gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab met with emphatic nods of approval across Maharashtra's political spectrum, the right-wing Shiv Sena has been quick to claim credit for the hanging.
Soon after Kasab was hanged at Pune's Yerawada Central Jail on Wednesday morning, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut commented that the execution was “the greatest tribute” that could be offered to their Party's deceased supremo Bal Thackeray.
“Balasaheb would have been very happy today…Our party has been making consistently making vociferous demands for the execution of terrorists like Kasab and Afzal Guru [convicted in the December 2001 Parliament attack] since the last several years ,” Mr. Raut said, commending the State Government’s move.
The Sena’s political ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, also welcomed the execution with its party workers celebrating the news by the beating of drums and exploding crackers. Leader of opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse said that the true justice finally has been finally served for the families of the bereaved.
Commenting on the execution, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan praised the Indian Judiciary, remarking that due process of law had been followed in the case.
“The process had already been set in motion a couple of days ago,” Mr. Chavan said, adding that complete secrecy was maintained throughout.
According to State Home Minister R.R. Patil, Kasab's execution was “paying homage to the martyrs who gave up their lives on that fateful day in 2008.”
“His [Kasab’s] hanging is a tribute to the innocent victims, including policemen and security personnel, who laid down their lives in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that were also an attack on the country,” Mr. Patil told reporters here, adding that the issue was discussed in the meeting of the state cabinet who expressed their approval.
Kasab was hanged at 7.30 in the morning. He was buried in the premises of the Yerawada Jail immediately thereafter in a top-secret operation referred as merely ‘X’.
Lauding the decision, Maharashtra Congress State President, Manikrao Thakre said that the ruling Congress-NCP coalition and the Central government deserved accolades forgoing ahead with Kasab’s execution.
The move has also met with the approval of Muslim groups across the country.
According to Navaid Hamid, member of the National Integration Council and General Secretary of the Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians, President Pranab Mukherjee's decision to reject Kasab's mercy plea has been a very wise one
“Kasab's subsequent hanging needs to be seen in the wider context of India's firm determination to deliver justice to victims and commitment to confront all cross border terrorists. Kasab's trial has also brought out the transparency of the Indian judicial system and its magnanimity to give even terrorists a fair opportunity to defend themselves,” said Mr. Hamid.
With Kasab's death, a curtain has come down on the unfortunate saga of pain, sufferings and grief of the victims and also a reminder to all cross -border terror groups of India's firm will to bring other perpetrators of terror acts to justice, said Maulana Syed Dehlavi from New Delhi.