Four years later, Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, was executed at Pune’s Yerawada Central Prison on Wednesday morning in a top-secret operation. While the entire nation welcomed Kasab’s hanging, the government’s decision to make public the location of his grave has raised many questions on the government’s discretion. Has the announcement compromised the security of the city as well as the prison? Speak Up brings you expert views on the matter...
If the govt kept the burial place a secret, Pakistan would have alleged foul play
There is nothing to hide about where Kasab has been buried. Making the information public was the right thing to do. Besides, people would have come to know about it anyway. If the government had not disclosed the location of Kasab’s grave, Pakistan would have raised several questions on the issue and would have alleged foul play by the government. All that would have created instability in the country, so it is was right that the government made a formal announcement about the same.
Kasab has been treated just like any other prisoner and his body has been buried in a well-fortified area. I praise the government for being discreet and carrying out operation X successfully. If the information about the hanging had been made public, a lot of people would have intervened and would have played vote bank politics over it.
—Major General (retd) SCN Jatar, defence expert
Giving him a proper burial was wrong in the first place
The first thing is that Kasab should have been cremated, not buried. It is a rule that if no one claims the body it should be cremated. The other nine terrorists, who perpetrated the attack on Mumbai and were killed on November 26, 2008, were also buried.
By doing this, we are giving the fanatics a chance to make the terrorists’ burial place a monument. The people who choose the path of terrorism will be encouraged that even if they die, they will get a proper burial as per their religion.
Another thing is that these terrorists were disowned by their own country and religion, then why should they be given this respect. It was wrong to even bury him, leave alone making his burial place public. Such people should be denied any religious rites.
—Col (retd) Anil Athale, military historian
We should not be scared in our own country and think the jail would be targetted
Kasab was before the law. He was hanged on order after the president rejected his mercy plea, so he was executed as per the law. Therefore, there is no reason for us to hide his place of burial.
In case of Osama Bin Laden, he was not before the law and therefore, his body was taken away and his last rites were performed secretly. There is nothing to hide from the public. We have not done anything wrong, if it were wrong then we would have kept it a secret. It is not the first time that someone has been buried in Yerawada. We have maintained transparency, and we should not be scared in our own country and think that the jail would be a target in the future. I think justice has been done.
—Nandu Phadke, senior advocate
Burial place should have been kept a secret in the interest of prison’s security
The place of burial should not have been made public. Just as Osama Bin Laden’s burial place has been kept a secret, the location of Kasab’s grave should also not have been disclosed. We never know who will take what message from the announcement. It may happen that some other terrorists will start considering the jail as a place of great importance.
His last rites should have been performed secretly as that would have been in the interest of the prison’s security. Though the jail authorities will secure the premises, privacy in such matters helps in the long run.
—Abdul Khadeem Taj, professor, department of defence and strategic studies, University of Pune
Disclosure of the burial place has cleared all doubts in the mind of public
The decision that the government has taken does not seem wrong. They planned the entire operation X and implemented it. They must have put a lot of thought into the selection of the burial place for Kasab as well as the aftermath of this announcement.
This, in fact, has brought transparency in the system. The questions and doubts that otherwise may have clouded the minds of people, and that might have reached the government offices have been cleared. Now people have the correct information, which has helped restore their faith in the government.
—Suresh Khopade, Retired IPS officer