The Bombay High Court's decision to uphold the death sentence awarded to Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab by a trial court for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks will come as solace for the relatives of those who lost their lives that day. The wheels of the criminal justice system have rolled over, making slow but steady progress in the case, examining it from all possible angles before coming to a conclusion which many expected. There is no doubt that Kasab deserves the sternest punishment under the law.

His reaction to the verdict sums up his attitude. He is cold blooded and remorseless. Kasab's sentence is a strong message to those engaged in activities against the state.

Pradyut Hande,

Mumbai

Considering the enormity of the crime, the verdict was along expected lines. The High Court is right in upholding the death sentence but one wonders when it will be carried out. There is room for an appeal and mercy petition which will drag the case for some more years. Is it right for the government to spend crores on the upkeep of a terrorist when millions of Indians are reeling under abject poverty? Already, a lot of public money has been wasted.

N. Venkata Sai Praveen,

Kozhikode

Anyone who thinks Kasab will be executed is living in a fool's paradise. The Supreme Court has to give the final verdict and there is a waiting list of clemency petitions. The exchequer should be ready to spend crores to protect the honourable life of the rarest of rare criminal for many more years.

Of course, an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. But one should not brush aside the legitimate fear that unless instant retributive justice is meted out to at least indoctrinated maniacs, the world will end up being crippled.

Victor Frank,

Chennai

We seem to suffer from an unhealthy obsession with Kasab's behaviour in court. Probably, for a nation frustrated in its hope of speedy justice, any sign of remorse in him would be some consolation. However, we should remember that for a person suffering from extreme stress — when awaiting the death sentence and seeing the promise of a happy and meaningful life vanishing — it is common to engage in ‘coping behaviour' such as making light of matters, cracking jokes and laughing, claiming no regret or repentance, justifying his act in the name of god and so on. We should take a charitable view of such aberrations, and concentrate on pressing for early justice for Kasab's victims.

A. Ramachandran,

Kochi

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