The transfer of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab to Pune from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai for his execution in Yerawada jail in Pune was one of the most finely worked out operations ever, an officer from the state police force revealed on Wednesday.
Police officers said a detailed set of instructions for every stage of the transfer was given for the safe transit to “ensure completion of a fair judicial process.”
Kasab was brought to Yerawada in a convoy of private vehicles. “The security arrangements were moderate. Stepping security up at any place would have caught undue attention. The operation labelled Operation X was co-ordinated by senior officers of the Mumbai police and those from the prisons department.”
After he was brought here on Monday, the crime branch team that accompanied him was also deployed for his security and there were jail staff too, said an officer.
He added, “Cell phones are not allowed inside the jail even in normal circumstances. The Mumbai police officers and jail officers on-duty were not allowed to leave the premises until the execution was over.”
After the execution, an SMS was sent to the home minister confirming completion of the operation. Sources said, “We were told the operation is of international importance and any untoward incident could have very bad repercussions. We now know that Mumbai police officials did not even talk to their families since they came here with Kasab.”
A jail department officer said, “Safe transfer to Pune jail was a crucial point in ensuring the case reached its logical end. There was already a case of alleged murder of undertrial Mohammed Qateel Siddiqui in the jail. And so we had to be even more alert.”
Sources said the execution and burial of Kasab has been videographed but senior officers with the jail department neither confirmed nor denied this. “One reason the burial was done within the jail was security. The location he has been buried is not known to many people within jail and the burial has been done at a secluded place within the main jail premises.”
According to Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, there were obvious security concerns due to which high level of secrecy was maintained. “We also did not want hindrance in the actual operation, which is why such secrecy was maintained,” he said.
Home department officials said select officers were kept informed about the developments and given only particular information they needed to know. The local police staff were not told about the operation, and some of them were not even aware of who they were transporting.
The main escort, sources said, was Mumbai Police Crime Branch officials with Sadanand Date, Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) coordinating the exercise along with senior officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria. The two agencies were involved as “more than a capital punishment convict, it was a Pakistani terrorist being ferried inside the state,” said a home department official.
Detailed set of instructions for every stage of the transfer was given for the safe transit
Mumbai police officers and jail officers on-duty were not allowed to leave the premises until the execution was over
After the execution, an SMS was sent to the home minister confirming completion of the operation
Location he has been buried is not known to many people within jail and the burial has been done at a secluded place within the main jail premises
Home department officials said select officers were kept informed about the developments
Mumbai Crime Branch and
Anti-Terrorism Squad were involved as “more than a capital punishment convict, it was a Pakistani terrorist being ferried, said a home department official.
(With inputs from Mumbai)