Driven by Poverty, Kasab Took to Crime and Jihad

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS): It was his father's refusal to buy him new clothes on Eid that forced a miffed Ajmal Amir Kasab to quit home, take to crime and then embrace jihad, leading to his death in India.

Until then, the now 25-year-old Kasab -- who was hanged in Pune Wednesday for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack -- led a simple life in an impoverished part of Pakistan's Punjab province.

He belonged to a poor family. His father was a food vendor while a brother was a labourer in Lahore.

It was in 2005 that Kasab decided to quit home after quarrelling with his father who could not provide him new clothes because of poverty.

The young man soon took to petty crime and graduated to armed robbery. A chance encounter with Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, the political wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, changed his life for ever.

It did not take long for him to sign up for training with the bitterly anti-India Lashkar.

He was last seen in his village six months before the November 2008 Mumbai slaughter. Apparently, he sought blessings from his mother to wage jehad.

Kasab was among the terrorists who underwent strenuous training, with the support of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

The Lashkar reportedly offered to pay his family Rs.150,000 for his participation in the Mumbai attack -- on the assumption he would become a "shaheed" (martyr).

Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists sailed to Mumbai in two hijacked vessels with three targets in mind: the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel and Nariman House.

Technology proved to be Kasab's undoing.

He was captured on CCTV when he unleashed mayhem at the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus along with fellow terrorist Ismail Khan.

He was filmed carrying an AK-47, ammunition and dried fruit.

Kasab and Khan then hijacked a police vehicle after killing, among others, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare.

As they drove drove towards Metro cinema, Kasab reportedly cracked jokes about the bulletproof vests worn by police.

As fate would have it, one tyre suffered a puncture, so they stole another vehicle.

They ran into a police barricade at Chowpatty.

Kasab and Khan tried to make a U-turn. The alert policemen opened fire, killing Khan.

A panicky Kasab pretended as if he was dead. But when assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble approached him, Kasab opened fire, killing him.

Omble took five bullets but -- in an act of bravery that made him a posthumous hero -- held on to Kasab's weapon, enabling his colleagues to overpower him.

The entire incident was captured on video for posterity.

Once in police custody, Kasab begged his interrogators to kill him, saying he feared for the safety of his family in Pakistan.

What followed was a long trial, with ups and downs. At one point, the Pakistani claimed he was not given a fair trial.

His four-year detention ended in November when President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his pending mercy petition. On Wednesday morning, in an operation shrouded in secrecy, he was hanged in Pune's Yerawada Jail.


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Comment on this article

  • Sonal, Mangalore

    Thu, Nov 22 2012

    Being poor does not mean that he has commit crime..there are so many opportunities to find a good way to success.only thing is we have to find them out by hard work and perseverance.....

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sonal, Mangalore

    Thu, Nov 22 2012

    Being poor does not mean that he has commit crime..there are so many opportunities to find a good way to success.only thing is we have to find them out by hard work and perseverance.....

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    George Mangalore,

    The great terrorist Hafeez Saeed who had masterminded 26/11 terrorist attacks is having terrorists training camps and some charitable schools in our neighbouring Nation. He offered help to USA for the Hurricane sandy destruction. Why he wanted to help USA and why he cannot set his own house so that millions of his own people prosper???

    In India most of them have money to buy gold but to pay simple tax to corporation/municipality through self house valuation tax and to buy a non-subsidized gas find it very difficult/a herculean task.

    People can bring 2 kilos of Gold from foreign countries for making business and people can buy gold for daily from the market and people have plenty of money.

    The business men, the citizens are daily cheating the government and our own citizens by deception and lies as much lies uttered as much good business.

    Electricity: How many are robbing electricity???!!!

    There are plenty of things which the citizens themselves have to learn to live righteously from his own.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • George, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    True, poverty is the root cause of thefts, loots and crimes.
    We should wholeheartedly fight for this cause. Let us not loot the poor people and make them poorer and poorer. Rich, so called millionaires should open their eyes and help out to solve this problem of poverty.
    Let us not blame and make an issue of our neighbours when we oursleves cannot protect our nation. We are more worried in silly and destructive politics.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • shahnawaz kukkikatte, dubai/udupi

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    All pakistanis are brainwashed and taught that India is their born enemy. Thats the reason , he readily accepted to come to India and kill Indians...We should show no mercy for being against our great country. Like they love their country, we too love our country and ready to die protecting it. Now we have to catch the masterminds of this attack, including father of all terrorist Azhar Masood and send them to gallows in our soil. Second to be hanged is Afzal Guru. Killers of Kemant Karkere should too be brought to justice. Biggest of all crimes is killings of fellow citizens of ones own country in the name of religion, region, language and culture. These killers however big is their stature and however big they may be must be sent to gallows so that its not repeated. State sponosered terrorism must end. Goodagiri wont run for long. Where justice is not administered, the people who didnt get justice will surely turn to violent ways to take revenge. So its better we start administering justice and treat all are equal in the eyes of laws. Or else everyday new terrorists would take birth and there wont be peace. For a peaceful and prosperous nation, equality of law and equality of justice is a must or else there will be devision and hate...So we expect everyone to respect the laws of the land and treat human beings as their own likes and not based on their faith and affiliation. Thats called unity in diversity and diversity in unity..or else it will remain in books only. I love my India and my fellow citizens. Wishing all of you good health, long life and peace. Jai HInd

    DisAgree [1] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rahul, Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    At last he became rich..... by Indian government (35 crores spent on him)

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    If this man was poor, he should beg in Pakistan. Jihad means struggle. Struggle for what? Struggling to kill the humans? If a person loves his enemies where does the hate, killing comes from. There are may brain washed people go for killing the humans every now and then.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Manglore - Doha Qatar

    Wed, Nov 21 2012

    Jihad.... why this was utilized innocents to carry out crimes and Terrorism.? Any one Please!!!

    DisAgree Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

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