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Despite public outcry, an Indian lawyer has agreed to defend
Despite public outcry, an Indian lawyer has agreed to defend the only terrorist captured alive during November's armed offensive on Mumbai, national media reported on Monday.

A group of about a dozen gunmen carried out a series of coordinated attacks on November 26-29 in India's financial capital, killing at least 179 people, including 26 foreigners.

A member of the banned Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, 21-year-old Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab appears on security camera footage firing an assault rifle at commuter trains at a crowded Mumbai rail terminal.

Shortly after media reports that Mahesh Deshmukh would take the case broke, the extremist rightwing party Shiv Sena (Army of Shiva) took to the streets in protest and hurled stones at the lawyer's home.

"Deshmukh is expected to file an application in a Mumbai sessions court on Monday and will later meet Kasab and detectives from the anti-terror squad in Mumbai," the Headlines Today TV channel said.

Earlier in the day, the party also laid siege to the house of Ashok Saraogi, a lawyer who "seemed willing to take up the case," the NDTV TV channel said.

Saraogi subsequently had a rethink. 'There was some initial discussion of this matter, but now I am bowing before public sentiment and I shall not take up this particular case,' he told IANS on Monday.

Rohini Wagh, the president of the Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Court's Bar Association, said the legal procedures for suspected terrorists should be revised, as while everyone had the right to legal aid, a lawyer could not be forced to accept a case.

"We need reform, we should decide on how to act in the future," Wagh said.


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