Welcoming the capital punishment awarded to Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said he was “not sure” whether the sentence would be carried out.
“I am not sure. Afzal Guru (convicted for the 2001 Parliament attack) who was sentenced to death is still there,” Mr. Gadkari said when asked whether the death penalty would be carried out.
Criticising the UPA government for not executing convicts like Afzal Guru, the BJP president said there are many in the line who are awarded capital punishment but “not hanged as Congress is playing vote-bank politics”.
“Linking terrorism to vote bank politics is not right. Criminals are criminals. Terrorists are terrorists,” Mr. Gadkari quipped.
The death sentence given to 22-year-old Kasab may take years to be executed as the lone captured terrorist of Mumbai attacks could be 30th in the list of prisoners who are waiting to be sent to the gallows.
Thursday’s order by Judge M.L. Tahaliyani is the first step of a long process which will include appeals before higher courts and most importantly, if he exercises his right, a clemency petition before the President.
At present, 29 such cases are pending before the President waiting a decision on their clemency petition.