The operation for the disposal of the nine bodies was meticulously planned, with a team of policemen hand-picked for the job and warned of “criminal proceedings” against them if they leaked a whiff of the operation. The level of secrecy was so high that even the Intelligence Bureau was apparently kept in the dark about the specifics of the operation until Patil’s disclosure in the Legislative Council. The entire operation was carried out in the early hours of January 30, 2010.
Although the police had made elaborate plans for the process by late December, 2009, clear instructions to dispose the bodies were received only the day before the burials.
Only 40 people, including trusted policemen, were involved in the process. They were warned that any information leaks would attract an inquiry by the State Criminal Investigation Department, and eventually criminal proceedings would be launched against them for promoting enmity among communities through their acts.
The police had already scouted for a secure and isolated location on the outskirts of the city, and request letters had been sent in advance to the Home and Health departments asking for the chosen plot to be officially declared a designated graveyard and the request was immediately approved.
Two weeks before the chosen date, the police set up bamboo barricades at entry-points leading to the mortuary in JJ Hospital where the bodies were being kept. Entry was restricted, and these arrangements continued days after the bodies had been buried. The generally inebriated attendants at the morgue were moved out of the area in advance. Guards posted outside the special room where the bodies were kept were also shifted to another location nearby. The police took care to ensure that a particular doctor, who they were sure would not leak information, was on duty at the morgue and alone when they arrived to pick up the bodies.
Earlier, while Kasab was still in police custody, he was secretly admitted at St Geroge Hospital for two days after he had complained of pain in his stomach. This was followed by two identification parades conducted at Arthur Road jail, for which Kasab was secretly remanded in judicial custody and shifted to Arthur Road prison from the Crime Branch lock-up at the Mumbai Police headquarters. A similar secret operation involved taking Kasab to a court and getting his confessional statement recorded before a magistrate.