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Mumbai Terrorist Executed, Retaliation Feared

By Venus Upadhayaya
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 21, 2012 Last Updated: November 22, 2012
Related articles: World » South Asia
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Indian activists hang an effigy of Pakistan-born Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, who was the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, at the entrance of Chatrapati Shivaji railway Terminals (CST) during celebrations following Kasab's execution in Mumbai on Nov. 21, 2012. (Punt Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian activists hang an effigy of Pakistan-born Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, who was the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, at the entrance of Chatrapati Shivaji railway Terminals (CST) during celebrations following Kasab's execution in Mumbai on Nov. 21, 2012. (Punt Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

PUDUCHERRY, India—India executed Mohammed Ajmal Kasab Wednesday, the only terrorist that survived the Nov. 26, 2008, attacks on Mumbai. A sense of closure and relief prevailed around the country. Foreboding, however, tempered the celebrations.

Fear arose of retribution from terrorist organizations.

Dr. Kodur Venkatesh, former deputy superintendent of Central Reserve Police Force of India and president of the Institute on Strategic Affairs, Bangalore, believes that Kasab’s death has both positive and negative implications in the South Asia region.

“It will have a stern deterrence to all kinds of groups resorting to violence within the Indian borders and outside, too,” Venkatesh said. “On the other hand, it will have retaliatory reactions too from various quarters.”

“It will have retaliatory reactions” Dr. Kodur Venkatesh, former deputy superintendent of Central Reserve Police Force of India and president of the Institute on Strategic Affairs, Bangalore

India lost 166 people in the 2008 attacks carried out simultaneously in eight locations by 10 terrorists. The terrorists sailed on a steamer from Karachi, Pakistan, hijacked an Indian fishing boat on the high seas, killed its captain, landed near the Gateway of India in Mumbai, and separated into four groups.

They then systematically targeted high-end hotels, a train station, a hospital, and a Jewish community center. They were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, and received continuous direction by phone from Pakistan.

Kasab was the only survivor. Indian forces killed the other nine attackers while responding to the attack. Before he was nabbed, Kasab, along with his accomplice, Abu Dera Ismail Khan, had killed 58 people at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station.

Kasab, armed with an AK-47, was captured by a police officer armed only with a stick.

For four years, Kasab remained an emblem of the bloody attack, which shocked India and raised fears of similar attacks in foreign cities. Pictures of young Kasab wearing a black T-shirt, striding through the Mumbai train station with a gun in hand, haunted citizens demanding justice.

Wednesday saw many Indians celebrating his execution. Anupam Kher, a popular Indian actor, joined many other Indian celebrities and citizens on social media to comment.

Kher tweeted, “Justice may not replace the feeling of loss, but it gives strength and hope to continue life with renewed belief in [the] system we live in.”

Kasab had made an appeal to Supreme Court of India after his death sentence was upheld by the Mumbai high court. When the Supreme Court also upheld the death sentence, Kasab sent a clemency plea to the President of India, which was turned down on Nov. 5.

As the news of his death spread, Indian intelligence and security agencies ordered an alert across the nation. According to local media reports, all police stations in the country were asked to stay vigilant in the wake of the execution. Domestic terror outfits could use the execution as an excuse to strike.

According to Reuters, a senior commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group called Kasab a hero, and said Kasab’s memory would inspire more attacks.

With reporting from Sunaina Valecha in Bangalore.

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