So read the headline in the Times of India dated 22nd November 2012. The news brought a sense of closure to a lot of families whose near and dear ones who had been brutally slain by terrorists on the 26th of November 2008.
The high drama that had ensued following the taking over of the Taj hotel and a few other buildings in Mumbai had been beamed live across the world by various Indian television channels. The world had watched the action with bated breath. One terrorist had been arrested and put to trial.
The trial of the young man had not been any less dramatic. There was so much irony about the whole situation. A lot of "evidence" was "examined" despite the fact that he had been seen by billions on television as he went about on a shooting spree. He was kept in prison under high security - for what purpose, God knows - to prevent him from running away? Could he have run away? Would the public have let him take two steps without lynching him and tearing him to pieces? Security to protect him from the public? Despite the fact that he had butchered so many people so mercilessly? And seemed so unrepentant about it? Despite the fact that the only obvious outcome would be for him to be hanged?
Would any other country for whose cause he was acting have given as fair a trial to an Indian who would have conducted himself in a similar manner on their soil? He would have been stoned, publicly beheaded, flogged or subjected to any other form of punishment that does not bear thinking of.
Yet our country thought it fit to provide him with a lawyer to fight his case, and if the press be believed five star treatment in jail. So it was the tax payers' money which was spent to keep a man who killed so many of us alive all these days. To quote a cliche, this happens only in India.
Having said all of which, there was a sense of deep sadness when one read the news. Here was a young lad, the son of an impoverished family. A young boy who had been misled into believing he was doing his country a favour. A country who did not respond to his plea for a lawyer to fight his case when he was arrested ..... a country which did not respond to the notification about his execution ..... a country which did not claim his body. His last wish was to meet his family. A wish which was not fulfilled. According to the papers his last words were "Allah kasam maaf karna, aisi galti dobara nahi hogi". What a waste of a young life. What was the use of such a late repentance and realization that it was a "galti" of a gargantuan proportion?
Maybe this will act as a lesson to other youth going his way ..... a lesson that there is no glory in this kind of death, a lesson that the people for whom you think you are laying down your life do not even acknowledge you once you are trapped, a lesson that not even your family acknowledges you later on. Or will it?