Death for Kasab! What about Lakhvi, Saeed, Mir?
On Monday, the Bombay high court upheld the death sentence to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead. However, the 26/11 case continues to remain unsolved for more reasons than one.
As far as the Mumbai terror attacks go, Kasab was nothing but a puppet controlled by Lashkar-e-Tayiba's larger syndicate. The fact remains that the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks -- those who controlled the likes of Kasab -- are yet to be brought to justice.
LeT founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the outfit's operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, chief plotter of 26/11 Sajid Mir and Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley are the ones who played a crucial role in the terror strikes.
Barring Mir, the three other LeT men are facing trial in United States and Pakistan. However, investigators have little clarity on Mir. While Kasab and Headley are in custody, the bigger worry are Saeed, Lakhvi and Mir who have the capacity of plotting another 26/11-like attack against India or any other country in the world.
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Image: Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab
What Headley's trial means for India
While Kasab can challenge his death sentence in the Supreme Court, the next step will be to commence the trial against Headley who is currently in the custody of the US authorities. Sources from the National Investigation Agency say that the chargesheet against Headley will be ready soon and he can then be tried in a Mumbai court.
Although his plea bargain does not permit him to be extradited to India, this verdict will still be important since it will give out a message to nations breeding terrorists on their soil, say investigators.
The trial may be a mere formality, but during its course a lot of information is expected to be revealed. This trial will be very different and there will be a lot of interaction between the court in India and the US from time to time, say insiders.
The Letter Rogatary from the US court is now in the custody of the special court which itself is an indication that the trial is round the corner. Moreover, the Headley case was kept away from the Kasab trial since the Indian government did not want any delay in the Kasab verdict.
Image: David Coleman Headley
Pakistan's 26/11 trial, a mere hogwash
The cases against Lakhvi and Saeed are entirely dependent on Pakistan. Asking Pakistan to hand over these LeT operatives is asking for the impossible, said an Intelligence Bureau official. It is highly unlikely that Pakistan may even take the 26/11 trial seriously since a conviction against the duo will lead to a chaos in Pakistan.
There is an eyewash trial against them ongoing in Pakistan and one has to wait and watch the course that it takes, say IB officials. Lakhvi and Saeed are key LeT men and they are the main force in war against India.
Despite of his involvement in the 26/11 attacks, Saeed continues to speak in the open and give fiery speeches to inspire young LeT cadres to take to jihad. Lakhvi is a key operator who arranges terror fronts and recruits youth for jihad. Currently is focus in on the Falah-e-Insaniyat, the new name under which the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa continues to operate. The main agenda of this organisation is to raise funds for terror.
Image: LeT operatives Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi
Pakistan ambiguous on Sajid Mir
However, as far as India is concerned the crucial man is Mir. Pakistan has done a flip flop on this operative. At first, the Pakistani police produced a man in court proclaiming he was Mir, but he mysteriously disappeared. Later it was revealed that it was not Mir, but just a stand in.
Today, Pakistan says that there is no such person exists. However, this is hard to believe as Headley on several occasions have made a mention of him.
The voice samples of 26/11 handlers also confirm that Mir continuously spoke to the terrorists at the Nariman House. He is grave concern not only India, but the West as well.
The data procured by intelligence sources on Mir clearly reveals that he was involved in the attack from the time Headley started his operation. Bringing him to book along with Saeed and Lakhvi would mean a clear end to the 26/11 trial, say investigators.
Image: Nariman House, one of the sites attacked