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Kasab smiled as court upheld death sentence

Mumbai: Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab smiled and grinned as a grim division bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday upheld the death sentence awarded to him by a lower court for the killings during the 26/11 terrorist strike, lawyers said.

He appeared before the division bench comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice RV More through a video-conferencing from his cell in the Arthur Road Central Jail, shortly after 11 am.

Kasab walked in nonchalantly, smiling away before the camera as the judges dismissed an appeal filed by his counsel, challenging the death sentence given to him by Special Court Special Judge ML Tahaliyani in May 2010.

“It is the rarest of rare cases. If he is not awarded the death penalty, then people might lose faith in the judicial process,” the bench grimly observed.

The court upheld the four counts on which Kasab was slapped with the death sentence by Special Judge Tahaliyani last May, including the killing of three top Mumbai police officials – former anti-terrorism squad chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte.

A total of 166 persons were killed in the mayhem let loose by Kasab and nine other Pakistani gunmen during the 60-hour Mumbai terror attacks Nov 26-29, 2008.

While Kasab was the sole gunman caught alive, his nine accomplices were killed in the encounter with the combined security officials.

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