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World News: India hangs last Mumbai militant in first capital sentence since 2004

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World News: India hangs last Mumbai militant in first capital sentence since 2004 | Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

In great secrecy, India executes last surviving Mumbai attacker
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: India executed Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of a militant squad that killed 166 people in a rampage through the financial capital Mumbai in 2008, hanging him today just days before the fourth anniversary of the attack.

Kasab, a Pakistan national, was the enduring image of the bloody assault, which traumatized India and raised fears of copycat attacks on foreign cities. Pictures of the young gunman wearing a black T-shirt and toting an AK-47 rifle as he strode through Mumbai’s train station were published around the world.

The hanging took place early this morning amid great secrecy, underscoring the political sensitivity of the November 26, 2008, massacre, which still casts a pall over relations between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

He was buried inside the prison where he was hanged, officials said. India said it would hand over the body to Pakistan if a request was made.

“All the police officers and personnel who lost their life in the battle against the terrorists have today been served justice,” Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said shortly after Kasab was hanged in a jail in Pune, southeast of Mumbai.

It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004. There was relief on the streets of Mumbai as news of the execution swiftly spread.

“When I heard the news of Kasab’s execution today, I remembered those horrifying moments of the attack. My eyes were filled with tears,” said Vishnu Zende, who was working at Mumbai’s train station on the day of the attack.

In August, India’s Supreme Court upheld Kasab’s 2010 death sentence over the attacks on a string of targets. Nearly 60 people were gunned down in the train station alone. President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for clemency on November 5, although this was not made public until yesterday.

“Foot solider”
Ten militants arrived on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on November 26, 2008, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a killing spree. They held off elite commandos for up to 60 hours in two luxury hotels and a Jewish center in the city.

India accuses Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) of organizing the attacks and says Islamabad is failing to act against those behind the raids. Pakistan denies involvement and says it is prosecuting seven suspected militants for their role.

“Kasab was a foot soldier, the generals are in Islamabad, in Pakistan, and full justice will be done when they are brought to justice,” Gopalapuram Parthasarathy, a former ambassador to Pakistan, told Reuters.

India and Pakistan’s relations have gradually improved since the attacks, with progress made on trade and economic ties.

Possibly because of the planned execution, India yesterday asked Pakistan to postpone a visit this week by its Interior Minister Rehman Malik, saying the dates were “not suitable for us”. Malik was due to put the final seal on a deal to ease visa restriction for travellers.

Kasab’s execution happened very quickly for India’s usually glacial justice system. Three people convicted of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are still on death row, 21 years after he was killed by a suicide bomb.

Islamabad was informed beforehand about Kasab’s execution, said a Pakistani foreign ministry official who asked not to be identified.

“If all judicial procedures were followed then the decision is acceptable,” the official said.

Raju Ramachandran, one of Kasab’s lawyers, said Kasab was a worried man when he last met him before the death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. He was scared that he would be hanged and asked the lawyer, “Can you please help me get out of jail?”

— Reuters

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip

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Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | Thaiger

Prince Philip, the husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in the history of the United Kingdom, retiring in 2017 after more than 20,000 public engagements. Born on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip had 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren with the Queen. Buckingham Palace released a statement mourning the loss.

Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921 on the island of Corfu, Greece. He married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

Buckingham Palace announces the death of Prince Philip | News by Thaiger

 

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace

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Prince Philip dies at the age of 99 – Buckingham Palace | Thaiger

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, has died at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace announced his death in the last hour.

Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947, 5 years before she became Queen. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

The couple had 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

SOURCE: BBC

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Thai fishing industry officials protest controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary

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Thai fishing industry officials protest controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary | Thaiger
Stock photo via Flickr

Thai fishing industry officials are protesting the controversial ‘Seaspiracy’ documentary as they say its information, regarding human trafficking, is outdated. The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre spokesman Pokkhrong Monthatphalin, says the government had been cleaning up the fishing industry for years after its illegal practises were highlighted in 2015. He says Thai authorities have been trying to invited the documentary’s producers to come inspect the nation’s fishing practises themselves.

The documentary, Seaspiracy, focused on the extreme consequences of commercial fishing on local ecology. It also spotlighted Thailand’s fishing industry by interviewing former fishing boat workers who said they were trafficked to work on the boats as migrants. The workers said they were living in hell and were modern-day slaves.

In response to the damning allegations by former workers, Pokkhrong says Thailand’s commitment to ending such illegal practices had been recognised by the international community. He says the EU had taken the country off of its yellow-card status in 2019, citing Thailand’s alignment of its legal systems with international obligations to fight IUU fishing.

He says that year Thailand was taken off the yellow-card status, the nation had also set basic decent standards for those working in the fishing industry-a first for Asia. The US’s Trafficking in Persons Report also recognised Thailand for making headway in tackling human trafficking in the past few years.

But the Seafood Working Group has backed up the documentary by proposing the US State Department to downgrade Thailand to the Tier 2 Watchlist again, after the group claimed the recognition of workers’ rights was even more shoddy due to the Covid pandemic.

But Pokkhrong insisted that Thai authorities remained dedicated to promoting sustainable fishing and ending human trafficking in the seafood industry. The documentary, however, pointed to high-level corruption in the police department, with such officials allegedly playing a part in the trafficking of migrant workers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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