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'A core team of 4-5 must have known about the hanging'

November 21, 2012 12:19 IST

IPS officer-turned-activist Y P Singh tells Archana Masih that the secrecy behind Ajmal Kasab's hanging reflects governmental failure.

"Ajmal Kasab's hanging reminds me of failures," says former Indian Police Service officer Y P Singh.

"It shows the signs of a weak government -- to avoid the heat from Afzal Guru (who has been convicted for his involvement in the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament, and whose mercy petition is pending before the President of India) that they carried out Ajmal Kasab's hanging in secrecy."

"The issuance of a warrant is a court process," Singh said, "it cannot be carried out in confidentiality."

Singh, who is now a lawyer and well-known civil society activist, has often highlighted the Mumbai police's failings in the terror attacks on the city between November 26 and 28, 2008 which killed 166 people and maimed several hundred others.

"The second failure is that the 26/11 attacks were a criminal conspiracy involving 150 terrorists. Apprehending 1 out of 150 is not a major achievement," Singh felt. "When the whole world saw Kasab in action so eloquently, it took four years for the court to finalise a simple case."

The former IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre also mentions important points where the Mumbai police faltered in its investigation -- slain state Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare's bullet-proof vest was never recovered and no extradition request was made for Lashkar terrorist David Headley after he was arrested in the United States.

Karkare was among Kasab and his accomplice Abu Ismail's victims; Headley surveyed targets for the 26/11 attacks.

On how no one could get a whiff of the execution of the most high profile prisoner in the country, Singh said, "A core team of 4-5 people must have known about the hanging."

"It must have been told on a need to know basis -- for example, the driver who must have driven the vehicle must have only known that he is ferrying an accused. He must have not known anything beyond that."

Archana Masih in Mumbai