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26/11: With no last wish, Kasab struggled as he was hanged

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Mumbai, Nov 26: One of the biggest successes of the security agencies was catching Ajmal Kasab alive. Out of the ten terrorists who stormed Mumbai, ten years back on November 26 2008, Kasab was the only terrorist to have been caught alive.

File photo of Ajmal Kasab

His interrogation was crucial as it provided India that crucial link between the attacks and Pakistan.

26/11: 10 years on, the trial still drags in Pakistan, on year 11 nothing will change either

OneIndia spoke with several officers who were involved with the interrogation of Kasab. We also spoke with jail officials, who narrated his final moments before Kasab was hanged. The trial against Kasab was conducted at a brisk pace and he was finally hanged at a Pune jail on November 21 2012.

Kasab was very talkative says an investigator. He never realised the seriousness of the trial and always believed that Pakistan would come to his rescue. He boasted about the attack and felt that he had managed to beat the Indian agencies.

Even during the trial at which he appeared through video conferencing, he was seen smiling most of the time. He was defiant most of the times and very often would get pulled up by the judge for smiling unnecessarily.

However for Kasab, it all changed, when the death sentence was awarded to him by the trial court, Mumbai. He began understanding the seriousness at that time. A talkative terrorist had gone quiet and as he was being shifted to Pune, he told a police officer, you won, I lost.

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At his isolated cell in Pune, he was quiet. Being a condemned prisoner on the death row, he was not allowed to interact with anyone. He was reserved most of the time and waited for decisions from both the High Court and Supreme Court. The High Court conformed the death sentence awarded by the trial court, following which he filed a failed appeal in the Supreme Court. Then came the Presidential nod for the hanging.

His last moments:

Once the order to hang him came through, the date and time was fixed by the local court. Kasab was informed about this and he did not react at first. He was asked if he had any last wish, but he said, 'no.'

He was then asked, if he wished to pen down his will, to which he replied in the negative. An official at the Pune jail said that Kasab did not speak a word after the date and time of his hanging was made known to him.

The only thing, he asked the officials was whether there was room for more appeals. He resigned to his fate when he was told that he had exhausted all appeals and there was no room for any.

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The man, who challenged investigators, mocked them and smiled during the trial was very nervous in his final days. On that morning, he had his bath, wore fresh clothes and then said his prayers.

Before being escorted to the gallows, he was asked if he had any final wish. He was also asked, if he wanted to contact anyone in Pakistan. To both questions, he replied in the negative.

He remained quiet all along and did not say a word even when he was being hooded. He struggled a bit as the noose went around his neck. The signal to hang him was made and that was the end of it.

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