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Kasab hanging ends unfinished chapter of 26/11: US victim

November 21, 2012 15:14 IST

An American national who lost both her husband and daughter in the 26/11 terror attacks said the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab has removed an "irritant" from the city of Mumbai and help the city to move on.

Kia Scherr had lost her husband Alan and daughter Naomi when the Pakistani terrorists attacked the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai in the November 2008 attacks.

Scherr's husband was shot at the back of the head and died instantly while her 13-year-old daughter was shot multiple times and bled to death.

"In this case, in this city, under these circumstances, this is the most appropriate consequence. It will help the city to move on in peace," Scherr who has made Mumbai her second home over the past two years, told PTI in an email.

Scherr said while justice can never be fully restored in this case, "a part of it has been laid to rest".

"Now let us be the peace we wish to see in the world. True justice is restored when we join together as one unified whole to live in peace, compassion and love. An irritant has been removed from the city of Mumbai -- an unfinished chapter to the 26/11 tragedy," she said.

Scherr said she had been informed that a peace march would be held in Mumbai from three of the locations targeted in the 26/11 attacks to the Gateway of India.

Thousands of students are expected to walk for peace on November 25, a day before India marks the fourth anniversary of the deadly terror attacks that killed over 160 people, including foreigners, during the three days that Mumbai was held hostage by Kasab and nine other Pakistani gunmen.

Scherr had also written a letter to Kasab, who was lodged in Mumbai's Arthur jail, in which she said "Life as I knew it ended when my husband and daughter were killed. Just like that, a family is no more, and so a part of me died along with them".

"I am no longer the wife and mother of Alan and Naomi Scherr. Your life was supposed to end in the Mumbai terrorist attack. You survived, but life as you knew it, too, has ended.

"You are no longer the terrorist on jihad as you sit alone each day in your jail cell awaiting your execution. Your identity as a terrorist has been stripped away, as was my identity as wife and mother".

In the letter Scherr said Kasab may have destroyed individual lives for which he needs to be accountable, "but the sacred life that resides in each of us can never be destroyed, no matter how big and powerful your weapon".

Yoshita Singh in New York
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