Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, November 26, 2012


           In loving memory of the 2008 Mumbai Attacks victims and survivors, I will post quotes from them, after learning that Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman was executed by hanging in the high-security Yerwada Jail in Pune, India on Wednesday 21 November at 7:30am.

Ashok Kamte

QUOTE 1: "Like everyone else, I also expected the Bombay high court to confirm the death sentence to Kasab. I welcome the judgement and expect that the punishment would be executed at the earliest," Vineeta Kamte said. “It was the rarest of rare case and everyone could see Kasab firing at people, killing them mercilessly, Kamte said adding, "the terrorist always deserved the toughest punishment."

Vinita Kamte
QUOTE 2: Vinita, widow of late police officer Ashok Kamte, who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attack, on Wednesday 21 November 2012, expressed satisfaction over the hanging of Pakistani gunman Kasab saying though belated, the government had done justice to the families of the martyrs.

"Though it took a long time, justice has been done to us. The authorities maintained extreme secrecy to carry out the execution and we are satisfied," she said reacting to the news of Kasab's hanging at Yerwada jail in Pune.

AUTHOR: Vinita Kamte is the widow of Ashok Kamte (23 February 1965 - 26 November 2008) was the Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police for the East Region. He was killed in terrorist action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. His bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009. Ashok Kamte was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks, on 26 November 2008 in a narrow lane between St. Xavier's College and the Rang Bhavan opposite Corporation Bank ATM just a stone away from Crime Branch office. As Mr. Kamte was known for his cool temperament and negotiation skills he was summoned when attack began. He was the Additional Commissioner of East zone, an area not under attack. When he reached CST area, he met ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and others. They took a Qualis from the Azad Maidan Police Station (AMPS), with Kamte taking taking AK47 himself. When they reached rear entrance of the Cama and Albless Hospital ( Cama ) which is next to AMPS, Kamte fired at terrorists, to which the terrorists retaliated with handgranade so Kamte suggested to take on terrorists from front entrance of Cama. By then the terrorists had left Cama sensing trouble. As the cops were moving they received wireless message that terrorists were hiding behind a red car in the same lane. At that time they spotted a terrorist running, Kamte fired, injuring him. He was Kasab lone terrorist captured alive later that night. As they were about to get down another Pakistani terrorist, Ibrahim Khan fired volley of bullets killing all but Asst. Police Inspector Arun Jadhav. Kamte was hit in the head although he was wearing helmet ( but no bulletproof jacket ) ( Times of India 19 December 2008 ) India Express quotes statements by API Arun Jadhav, who was with the officers Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and Hemant Karkare when they died. The three officers and four constables had received information that Sadanand Date had been injured in the gunfire at the Cama and Albless Hospital for women and children. Currently located at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), a ten-minute drive from the hospital, they took a Toyota Qualis and proceeded in that direction. Kamte was in the passenger seat, Salaskar driving, Karkare in the second row, and the four Constables, including Jadhav, were in the back row of seating. According to Jadhav, five minutes later two terrorists stepped out from behind a tree and opened fire with AK-47 automatic rifles. Kamte was the sole officer who managed to retaliate,wounding terrorist Ajmal in the arm. The six policemen, other than Jadhav, were all killed quickly in the gunfire. The wounded Jadhav had no opportunity to render assistance. The two terrorists approached the vehicle, dumped the bodies of the three officers on the road and, leaving the constables for dead, proceeded to Metro Junction. Upon arrival, they aimed three bursts of automatic fire at police and journalist vehicles drawn up at that location, then drove off towards the government offices (Vidhan Bhawan) in South Mumbai. Here again they fired several times. While attempting to leave the area, one of the tyres of the vehicle burst, so the terrorists departed to obtain another. At this point, Jadhav was able to contact headquarters. The bodies of the dead were promptly recovered and taken to St George Hospital. The body of Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte, was cremated with State honours at the Vaikunth cremotorium on 27 November 2008. A large number of high-ranking police officers participated in the funeral procession, including: Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane and district collector Chandrakant Dalvi. Around 3,000 people were present.

Kaizad Bhamgara
QUOTE: Wednesday 21 November 2012 - The 23-year-old began that day by having drinks with friends at one of the city's most famous bars, Cafe Leopold.

"Suddenly intense firing began, so we ran to the nearby Taj Hotel. There we saw blood everywhere and people dying, so we got out, and ran to the train station to go home, only to find people being killed there too. We lay down at the station pretending to be dead on the ground. Only two in our group of nine survived."

Mr Bhamgara, who plans to celebrate Qasab's hanging with friends, says it has finally provided some closure on what happened. 

He supports the use of the death penalty: "Something like this acts as a deterrent and as an example for people to know not to do things. I'm very happy with the death sentence, if one man kills another man, this works effectively to give justice," he says. 

AUTHOR: Kaizad Bhamgara was a few steps away from Ajmal Kasab on that fateful evening of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Vijay Salaskar
QUOTE 1: Mrs Smita Salaskar, wife of slain encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar who fell victim to the bullets of terrorists during the carnage, said, “Though the execution was delayed, Kasab was finally hanged. With this hanging, homage has been paid to my husband.”

QUOTE 2: Thanking President Pranab Mukherjee for rejecting the mercy plea of the Pakistani gunman, Smita said, "Late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had also demanded Kasab's hanging. His wish and our wish have been finally fulfilled."

"The entire family is happy to hear the news that Kasab was hanged, ahead of fourth anniversary of the attack," Smita said.

The hanging would surely send a message across the globe that India would not tolerate any terror attack, Smita said, adding, "I hope death sentence of Parliament House attack convict Afzal Guru would also be executed soon."

AUTHOR: Mrs Smita Salaskar is the wife of Vijay Salaskar (Marathi: विजय साळसकर), he was a Senior Police Inspector and encounter specialist serving with the Mumbai police. He was widely credited with killing 75–80 criminals in encounters — most of these were members of the Arun Gawli gang. Salaskar was killed while fighting terrorists in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. Captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab claimed responsibility for the killing. Before his death Salaskar was head of the Anti-Extortion Cell, Mumbai. His patriotism and bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009.

Sandeep Unnikrishnan
QUOTE: Relatives of victims and survivors of the Mumbai 26/11 strike today felt that justice has been done with the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, saying it will serve as a lesson to terrorists that India is determined to act firmly against them. 

Kasab was hanged to death at 7.30 a.m. at Yerawada jail in Pune after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy plea earlier this month. 

Dr K Unnikrishnan, father of NSG commando K Unnikrishnan, who was killed in the Taj Hotel strike, said, “The way in which the execution has been done, it is a model way. Before anybody could react to the rejection of the mercy petition (of Kasab), everything is over. That is the thing which I cherish.”
Dr Unnikrishnan, a retired Isro official, said, “Definitely there was a long way to go for the sense of closure...Kasab's execution is only one chapter. The perpetrators are still moving around in Pakistan and the anti-India thinking in Pakistan is too much now, it should come down.” 

AUTHOR: Dr K Unnikrishnan is the father of Sandeep Unnikrishnan (15 March 1977 – 28 November 2008). He was a Major in the Indian Army serving in the elite Special Action Group of the National Security Guards (NSG). He was killed in action while fighting terrorists in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. His bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra, India's highest peace time gallantry award, on 26 January 2009.

“Do not come up, I will handle them”, were the last words which Major Unnikrishnan told his men as he was hit by bullets while engaging terrorists inside the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower during Operation Black Tornado, according to NSG officials.

Later, NSG sources clarified that when a Guardsman got injured during the operation, Major Unnikrishnan arranged for his evacuation and started chasing the terrorists himself. The terrorists escaped to another floor of the hotel and during the chase Major Unnikrishnan was seriously injured and succumbed to his injuries.

Tukaram Omble
QUOTE 1: Mr Eknath Omble, brother of assistant police sub-inspector Tukaram Omble who died while capturing the terrorist, said, “I am proud and very happy that my brother's efforts have paid off.” 

“We are very happy and satisfied. Ajmal Kasab should have been hanged in public, but I know our law does not permit this,” he said. 

QUOTE 2: Eknath Omble, brother of police officer Tukaram Omble, who was also killed in the attacks, also welcomed the execution. “We are glad he met his end. He deserved to be hanged in public to set an example for others who intend to attack us,” he said.

AUTHOR: Eknath Omble, brother of assistant police sub-inspector Tukaram Omble who died while capturing the terrorist. Tukaram Omble was an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), and a retired army man who had entered the Mumbai police. He was killed during the 2008 Mumbai attacks while fighting terrorists at Girgaum Chowpatty. The Indian government honored him with the Ashoka Chakra – for the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice – on 26 January 2009.

Solomon Sopher
QUOTE: "He showed no mercy on anyone, so why should we show mercy on him," asks Solomon Sopher, president of the Baghdadi Jewish community in Mumbai, who agrees with the punishment.

AUTHOR: Solomon F. Sopher is the president of the Baghdadi Jewish community in Mumbai, India. He also serves as the Trustee of the David Sassoon Fund, and as the chairman and managing director of Sir Jacob Sassoon Trust, which manages the Knesset Eliyahoo synagogues in Mumbai, as well as the Magen David and the Ohel David synagogues at Pune, India. 

Relatives of victims of the July 26, 2008 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad burn a picture of Ajmal Amir Kasab during a demonstration welcoming his death sentence.
QUOTE: Mrs Ragini Sharma, whose railway ticket collector husband S K Sharma was killed in the strike, said, “The first thing that comes to my mind is what happened is good. We are happy that we have got justice.” 

Activists of Shiva Sena shout slogans as they celebrate after India's Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab Kasab, the only surviving gunman of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks in Mumbai, India, Aug. 29, 2012.
QUOTE: Ragini Sharma, whose husband S K Sharma was killed in the 2008 terror strike, said she would like to thank the President for rejecting Kasab's mercy plea.

"I would like to thank the President. However, it got delayed but we did get justice. I am happy that it (the hanging) was done secretly, otherwide some human rights people would have opposed it," she said.

Sam Panthanky/AFP/Getty Images - The execution of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, which Indians celebrated, is not expected to affect relations with Pakistan.

QUOTE: Mr Vishnu Zende, an announcer at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the railway station here which was one of the targets of the attack, said, “I had never thought that I would get to hear this news like this." 

“I am very happy that he has been hanged. All the people who died in the terror attack have been given tribute by hanging him,” Mr Zende, who had helped save many lives by making announcements over the public address system in the station about the strike, said.  

Some in India have been celebrating the hanging of Qasab.
QUOTE: Thirteen-year-old Devika Rotwan, who was shot in the right leg in the terror attack, said, “I am very much happy that Kasab has been hanged. But I would have been happier if this would have been done in public. It is a good news that a terrorist has been hanged... Wish this should have been done on the anniversary of the attack this year.” 

Devika, who studies in Class IX now, had gone to the CST with her family members and was waiting for a train, when two terrorists opened fire. 

People hold flares and wave India's national flag as they celebrate after India hanged Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, in Ahmedabad November 21, 2012. REUTERS/Amit Dave
QUOTE: Kuresh Zorabi, whose bakery opposite Chabad House (Nariman House) in south Mumbai, was splattered with bullet holes in the 26/11 attack, said, “It is surprising and shocking, but at the same time I am little disappointed that all this was kept secret. This is difficult to digest for a second. I am thrilled that Kasab has been hanged. This will serve as a lesson to terrorists that India can take strict action against them.” 

People hold a placard and pictures of Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, as they celebrate in Ahmedabad November 21, 2012.
REUTERS/Amit Dave  
QUOTE: For terror attack victim Sarika Uphadyay, “It is definitely a time for celebration...it is like Diwali! We have been waiting for this since the past four years and finally it has happened. Feeling sad that this was kept as a secret.” 

Sarika was at the Leopold Caf for a dinner with her friend Anamika Gupta, where Kasab and his other accomplice opened fire. “I am finding it hard to digest that he has been hanged to death. He and his accomplices had brought the city of Mumbai to a halt, killed so many innocent people...I think he should have been hanged in Mumbai and not in Pune,” she said.

An activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad holds an effigy of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab before it was burnt to celebrate the news that he was executed, in Bangalore on Wednesday. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India’s financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. The placard refers to Afzal Guru, the man who has been sentenced for death penalty and currently in prison for the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. (AP Photo byy Aijaz Rahi)
QUOTE:  Mukesh Agrawal stays well away from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station these days. Four years ago, he was working at his newly-opened restaurant in the food plaza when he came face-to-face with death. 

"It was around 9:45pm [1615 GMT] and I was about to shut shop. I was near my cash counter when all of a sudden I saw people throwing grenades. I saw a man coming towards me holding something long in his hand. After that I didn't see anything."

Mr Agrawal was shot in the stomach and lost consciousness seconds later. In a coma for 15 days, he had to have parts of his intestine removed, and fragments of shrapnel remain in his armpit. 

Closed-circuit TV camera footage revealed the man who pulled the trigger on him was Qasab.
At 0730 on Wednesday morning, after months of appeals, Qasab was hanged. The news has been a cause of celebration for Mr Agrawal, coming at the start of the Hindu New Year, which began last week.

"This is the best possible New Year gift one can get. It's a beautiful thing," he said. 

"They caught him red handed, yet it took them this long to do this," he says, adding that the money which was spent on keeping Qasab in jail would have been better spent on providing support and assistance to victims like him. 

AUTHORS: Survivors & Victims’ Families of the 2008 Mumbai Attacks - - The 2008 Mumbai attacks were eleven coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Islamist terrorists who were trained in and came from Pakistan. The attackers allegedly received reconnaissance (recce) assistance before the attacks. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's ISI. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308. Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital (a women and children's hospital), the Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier's College. There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai's port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle. By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj hotel had been secured by Mumbai Police and security forces. On 29 November, India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the deaths of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks. Ajmal Kasab disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant organisation, considered a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, among others. The Indian government said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan. On 7 January 2009, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab's nationality as Pakistani. On 12 February 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan. A trial court on 6 May, 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted. On his appeal against this verdict, Bombay High Court on 21 February 2011 and Supreme Court of India on 29 August 2012 upheld his death punishment. Kasab was executed by hanging at Yerwada Jail in Pune on 21 November 2012.