Millennium Post

Rana’s conviction warning for others

A US court on Thursday sentenced Pakistan-Canadian Tahawwur Rana to 14 years in prison, after finding him guilty of providing support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. Rana was however, not found to be complicit in the attacks. He had faced a maximum of 30 years in prison. The 52-year-old former Pakistani Army doctor had also been found guilty in June 2011 of conspiring to attack a Danish newspaper, a plot hatched by the militant group that was never carried out, as retaliation for the paper’s decision in 2005 to publish 12 cartoons by various artists, most of which depict the Prophet Mohammad. Rana was acquitted of the more serious charge in connection with the Mumbai attacks because David Headley, accused of being involved in the Mumbai attacks, testified that the plot was a joint operation by the LeT and Pakistani intelligence organisation ISI. During Rana’s trial, the prosecutors provided evidence to establish that he communicated with the ISI’s Major Iqbal, but didn’t have hard evidence to connect Rana to the Lashkar which actually carried out the attack.

While Rana’s attorney’s are to appeal against the conviction, US prosecutors have said that Rana’s prison term should send out a tough message to all individuals planning to indulge in any direct or indirect terrorist activities that they cannot escape detection and punishment. Rana’s conviction in US, following the hanging of the face of the Mumbai terror strike, Ajmal Kasab, in India a few months back, will no doubt bring some relief to the victims and their families. Hate crimes or terror strikes, whether organised or on-the-spur-of-the-moment, carried out by an individual or a group, in the name of religion or race, should always be strongly dealt with. No religion or civilised race preaches death of innocents to propagate itself. Such attacks are carried out only by a mentally unsound, emotionally unstable or perverted section, of any religious following or race and they need to be identified, isolated and punished, only for justice, but also so that they are not able to take advantage of the economical poverty or feelings of others, and lure them away from the path of right in the name of faith or with the promise of monetary gain. At the same time, it is important to understand that such crimes are committed by only a few among any religious or racial group, and to treat an entire community with suspicion will be unfair and may result in a growing angst, that will end in corrupting those who otherwise would never have alligned with such ciminal factions.
Next Story
Share it