26/11 terror attack aimed at flaring communal tension: Supreme Court told

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The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack involving Mohd Ajmal Amir Kasab was carried out with a "calculated" design, aimed at causing communal tension in the country by projecting that it was the handiwork of Indian Muslims...

The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack involving Mohd Ajmal Amir Kasab was carried out with a "calculated" design, aimed at causing communal tension in the country by projecting that it was the handiwork of Indian Muslims, the Supreme Court was told on Tuesday.

"The terror attack was with a calculated design to pose that it was an attack by Indian Muslims. This was their deliberate design to flare up communal tension in the country," former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam submitted to a bench of justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad.

They said the evidence and material collected during the investigation established that the Paksitani handlers of the ten terrorists had planned the attack in such a manner that it would have resulted in tension between the majority and the minority communities.

"Therefore, it is a time for the Supreme Court to address this vital issue in detail for the purpose that the attack was carried out in such manner that would have caused communal unrest in the country," the prosecutors said, while seeking the apex court's endorsement to the death sentence awarded to 24-year-old Kasab.

The Maharashtra Police said Pakistani handlers had chosen Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal (CST) as one of the target as it was one of the most important railway stations in Mumbai, connecting the city with other parts of the country.

They had earlier submitted that Kasab's confession coupled with the intercepted conversation between the terrorists and their Pakistani handlers proved that the assault on the commercial capital was a result of a "meticulous" planning across the border.

Kasab is the sole convict of the carnage in which 166 people were killed. He has pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.

The apex court had stayed Kasab's death sentence on October 10 last year.

In the special leave petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court judgement, that confirmed his death sentence, Kasab had claimed he was brainwashed like a "robot" into committing the crime in the name of "God" and that he does not deserve death penalty due to his young age.

Kasab, who is lodged in Arthur Road Prison in Mumbai, had filed the SLP through the jail authorities.

Kasab, along with nine other Pakistani terrorists, had landed in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008 night after travelling from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various city landmarks.

While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists in his group had been killed by security forces during the counter-terror operations. He was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May 6, 2010.

The Bombay High Court had upheld on February 21 last year the trial court's order of death sentence to Kasab for the "brutal and diabolical" attacks aimed at "destabilising" the government.

Kasab's death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law-Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The high court had upheld Kasab's conviction on 19 counts under the IPC, the Arms Act, the Explosives Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Foreigners Act, the Passport Act and the Railway Act.