The UPA government does not have the courage to carry out the death sentence of 26/11 gunman Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said on Wednesday. He demanded a swift implementation of the Supreme Court verdict that upheld Kasab’s death sentence.

Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict, Mr. Thackeray dubbed the Centre “impotent” and expressed concern that the verdict on Kasab would be left pending like that of Mohammed Afzal Guru, who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004 for his role in the attack on Parliament in 2001.

“Will Kasab too be granted relief in the form of a serial number after the SC has pronounced his judgment,” the Shiv Sena leader asked, saying the collective sentiment of the country against Kasab should be heeded for once and the gunman be executed immediately.

Echoing similar sentiments, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde urged the Centre to not make an Afzal Guru of the Kasab judgment. “He was waging war against the country and there is enough evidence to establish Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 affair,” Mr. Munde said.

While Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hailed the apex court’s judgment, the Home Minister R.R. Patil commented that he would ask the Centre to ensure that it was implemented as soon as possible.

“Not only the State or the country, but the entire international community too is keenly observing the outcome of the case,” the Minister told reporters, noting that the Crime Branch and the Anti-Terrorism Squad were successful in highlighting the role of terror outfits such as the LeT.

Meanwhile, after slamming the Centre on the Kasab issue, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray made a statement emphasising the necessity of introducing a Permit System throughout the country to preclude incidents such as the riots in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on August 11.

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