It was around 8 in the morning when TV channels started beaming reports that Ajmal Kasab, the 26/11 terrorist whose mercy petition was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee, had been hanged in Pune’s Yerawada jail. The first reactions started trickling in within minutes, and by afternoon the floodgates seemed to have opened. From Bollywood’s Twitter-happy celebs to activists with an opinion on everything, everyone was out congratulating the government. The terror attack survivors and family members of bravehearts who died fighting the terrorists brought in the much-needed sobriety to the issue.
Jasleen Kaur compiles some of the notable reactions:
Anna Hazare: Kasab should have been hanged in full public view and not clandestinely. The decision to hang him has come after a lot of delay.
Vinita Kamte, wife of police officer Ashok Kamte who died on 26/11: 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.
K. Unnikrishnan, father of slain NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan: It is not a late decision, and it is a step in the right direction. But a lot has to be done before perpetrators of the Mumbai attack are brought to justice. I am extremely satisfied with the government decision. It has brought a sense of relief to those who lost their near and dear ones. The execution was quick but the investigation was late. Terrorists are decided and well prepared for their death. Others like Kasab will continue to do it; we can't stop terrorists.
Riteish Dehmukh, actor: Congratulations government of India for doing it so effectively. For once the government broke the news and not the news channels.
Rohit Roy, actor: “Kasab might have died on Dengue, Government claiming he is hanged." No wayyyy! Are you serious???
Om Puri, actor: He is being punished for what he did. This decision was taken only after studying and investigating the motive behind his act.
Ram Gopal Varma, filmmaker: Here's wishing that finally victims' souls will rest in peace RIP, and Kasab's soul will roast in hell. Most Indians would have preferred to have seen Kasab being lynched and tortured to death instead of being just hung. If I were to be the hangman I would have shown the pictures of all his victims to Kasab before hanging him.
Raveena Tandon, actress: So Kasab finally hangs! BIH!! Congratulations India! After mourning BalaSaheb, I think this was the good news.
Pooja Bedi, former actress, filmmaker: Kasab is finally hanged after the long wait and almost on the eve of 26/11. He wasn't worth a penny more of taxpayers’ money. All I can say is better late than never.
Anupam Kher, actor: Justice may not replace the feeling of loss but it gives strength & hope to continue life with renewed belief in system we live in.
Abhishek Bachchan, actor: Man who should be honoured today, the one who captured Kasab, Assistant Sub Inspector Tukaram Omble.
Kamal Rashid Khan: First time ever advisors of Congress have done brilliant job to advise to hang Kasab today. Now Congress has hijacked news of Balasahab Thakre.
Ken Ghosh, musician: Kasab is now facing the highest of all courts! Sentences meted out here are for all eternity
Celina Jaitly, actress: Entire Nation rejoices Kasab’s hanging. Law of the Land Prevailed. Well done government of India. However the source of the ideology of the fanatics who turn young men into terrorists is still alive.
Siddharth: The death penalty scares me no end...having said that, Ajmal Kasab needed to die. He's going to realize that the whole heaven thing...was a lie.
Shreya Ghoshal, singer: “Kasab, the lone surviving 26/11 terrorist, hanged at 7.30AM at Yervada Jail in Pune: Senior state government official." Finally!
Madhur Bhandarkar, filmmaker: Kasab's execution is a victory not only for the Mumbaiker who suffered at the hands of terror, but the entire nation. I applaud the Government and especially Sushil Kumar Shindeji and home ministry for such a controlled execution of Kasab.
Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director, Human Right Watch: Instead of resorting to execution to address heinous crime, India should join the rising ranks of nations that have taken the decision to remove the death penalty from their legal frameworks.