Unprofessionals in Law

March 26, 2015

Delhi prosecutor admits biryani blunder

Image: Shutterstock


In the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, only one attacker remained alive to be prosecuted. His trial is already over. Ajmal Kasab was hanged in 2012 after being found guilty of waging war.

There was an “emotional wave” of public sympathy for Ajmal (aged 21 during the attacks) after he was reported to have broken down in tears during the trial. The report coincidentally occurred on a Hindu festival, Raksha Bandhan, a day dedicated to sibling love.

Worried about influence this might have, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, it has now been revealed, took an unusual step. He reported that Ajmal Kasab had “demanded”  biryani from his jailers, and had received it.

It was a move intended to counteract the sympathy Kasab had been getting. However, the prosecutor was lying.

It was a successful example of character assassination. Biryani is one of India’s most beloved dishes, and it was a cynical move from Nikam, who chose a popular dish out of the reach of many in India in order to provoke resentment, and paint Kasab as arrogant and unrepentant.

The ruling party, Congress, faced criticism at the time for ‘feeding’ a terrorist at the tax payer’s expense.

Now it is known that the comments were lies, many are calling for the dismissal of Ujjwal Nikam, even though it is believed that the biryani did not really make the difference between life and death for Kasab. He has been ordered to explain his actions.

Nikam isn’t renowned for his good taste. On the day of Kasab’s death sentence, Nikam was asked by a member of the crowd outside of the court for his “score”. Taking a moment to consider, Nikam replied, “Thirty-eight death penalties and over 600 life terms,” before flashing the ‘V’ sign. JL

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