Tuesday, 23 December, 2008

Hang Kasab

He’s a terrorist. We have enough evidence, tapes and eyewitnesses, who have seen him kill. Why do we need a trial? As Bal Thackeray has suggested, he should be hung before the Taj, and the world be invited to watch and learn how we deal with terrorists. One noted lawyer, Masjid Menon, has said that he won’t defend Kasab because he’s indefensible. His guilt is beyond any doubt. A Muslim organisation has argued that executing him is in line with the divine law of an eye for an eye.  

Other voices argue that we should have due process precisely because we are not barbarians like Kasab and his ilk are. 

What both sides miss is that trying him is not necessarily to just affix his guilt and punish him – his guilt doesn’t need more proof; nor his punishment much debate – but to find out who else was involved and how. 

A trial is a logical end of an investigation. This devil was trained, equipped and financed. Those behind him are just as guilty as he is. Their names need to come out in a court of law, unless there are deep and indisputable reasons for keeping their identities and involvement secret. 

(Of course, we know who’s responsible. Pakistan is. So? Imprison the whole country? Hang the lot? Can we? No wonder those suave Pakistani diplomats snigger at us, adding insult to injury.)  

Also, some guilt needs to affixed, again in a court, on those who let him through (though I am far less sure than the rest of my countrymen that he was stoppable in the first place). Or is all that talk about accountability just gas? 

Hang terrorists by all means, even if it makes them martyrs for a batty fringe. However, make sure you try them first, to find out who else was behind the terror. (There is no record of Hitler killing anyone with his own hands, is there?)

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