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KASAB'S EXECUTION

Tongue & cheek

Kasab had picked up a smattering of English and Marathi during his trial. “Nahin, nahin, taap nahin (no, no, I don’t have fever),” he once told the court in Marathi.

“Tumhi nighun ja (you may leave)” was apparently the first Marathi sentence the Class IV dropout from an Urdu-medium school learnt, as chief prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam would say this to him after proceedings. Kasab would often jokingly throw back a “tumhi nighun ja” to Nikam during the lunch recess before both began laughing. He often wished judge M.L. Tahaliyani a “good morning” and would nod when the judge asked, after witness depositions in English: “Have you followed...?”

Nikam said Kasab was “very intelligent” and grasped things easily.

Kasab’s mood, he said, fluctuated between docility and testiness. “On Raksha Bandhan, he had asked his lawyer whether some girl would come to tie a rakhi on his wrist. On another occasion, he threw tantrums for a plate of mutton biryani.”

Jail number

In keeping with the theme of secrecy surrounding everything about Kasab, his identity remained “C-7096” throughout his prison term. Almost all official files, including the dossier for his hanging, used the number instead of the name.

Kasab was given this number by Arthur Road jail authorities in Mumbai.

Wednesday jinx

Kasab arrived in Mumbai with his nine comrades on a Wednesday — November 26, 2008 — and has been hanged on a Wednesday too, exactly 208 weeks later.

ollywood actor Anupam Kher, who featured in a movie on terrorism titled A Wednesday, received a tweet from a fan that said: “What coincidence, Ajmal Kasab hanged on Wednesday and your movie A Wednesday dealing on the same topic!”

Rs 34cr job

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team of 200 commandos that had guarded Kasab at Arthur Road jail since March 2009 will now be called back by the paramilitary force, which protects the India-China border.

Sources said the ITBP spent more than Rs 34 crore guarding Kasab, at Rs 77 lakh a month, adding that these figures did not include the Maharashtra police’s and jail authorities’ expenses. The squad was armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and high-precision weapons and ammunition.