Other than Meeran Borwankar, State Additional Director-General (Prisons) and District Collector Vikas Deshmukh-who himself declined to comment whether he knew or not-officials did not seem aware of the mission.
Borwankar refused to comment. “Only the Home Minister and the Chief Minister will speak,” she said. Jail officials did not come forward with any information. Jail sources said they were banned from interacting with journalists or giving out information.
Even the policemen manning the gates of Yerawada jail had no inkling of what was going on inside. “I came on duty at 5 in the morning. There was no movement inside or outside the gate. I came to know about the hanging only after people rushed to the gate as news of the hanging was flashed on TV channels,” said a constable posted the jail gate. At least three constables who came out of the jail premises between 12 and 1 pm said although they were inside the jail and worked “everywhere in the jail,” they had no clue of such a thing having taken place.
When contacted, Pune district collector Vikas Deshmukh refused to comment whether he was kept in the loop or not. “This is confidential matter and I would not like to comment,” he said. Collectorate sources, however, said Deshmukh was alerted by the Home Ministry.
When asked whether he was aware of Kasab being brought to Pune, Pune Police Commissioner Gulbrao Pol offered no comment. He added “It concerned jail matter, not the city police.” Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh said he was not aware of Kasab being brought to Pune. “However, after he was brought here I came to know of it,” he said, adding the collectorate was intimated about it.
The route on which Kasab was brought to Pune was also kept under wraps. While earlier some police sources said he was brought through the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, others said it was the Pune-Mumbai highway. There were hints that he may have been flown by chopper, but later it turned out it was a contingency plan and he was actually transported by road.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said they were not aware and no assistance of traffic police had been sought for the operation.