'Operation X' – that was 26/11 killer Ajmal Kasab's execution plan, and it was drawn up more than two months ago, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil told reporters today.
"The Supreme Court upheld Kasab's death penalty on August 29 this year. On September 9, the state government began the process of implementation. On September 11, in consultation with the additional sessions judge, the date for Kasab's execution was fixed for today," Patil told reporters.
The operation was called 'Operation X', the Home Minister said, adding, the reason behind the secrecy was security and the plan's smooth execution.
"On November 12, I met senior officials in Pune to discuss the logistics. On November 18, Kasab was shifted to Yerwada prison," Patil said.
For the second time in the last four years, the Maharashtra government and police have ensured utmost secrecy while carrying out an execution.
Ajmal Kasab, arrested alive on the night of November 26, was hanged at Pune's Yerwada jail at 7.30 am today. His body has been buried as per procedure at an undisclosed location. Two years ago, bodies of nine others who came with Kasab were similarly buried at an undisclosed location in a secret mission.
Detailing the events over the last two weeks, Patil said the date and time to execute him was confirmed by a sessions court on September 11. At that time, Kasab had not moved a mercy petition. He moved the petition on September 12. Since the mercy process was expedited, the date of execution remained same.
Late on Tuesday evening, Ministry of External Affairs communicated through a special messenger that Kasab's family had not expressed interest in collecting his body. MEA had asked the Pakistan High Commission this month to inform Kasab's family about the execution.
After the mercy plea was rejected by President Pranad Mukherjee on November 8, Kasab was informed in Hindi and Urdu about the execution. "He signed a document stating he had no Will," said Patil.
Kasab was moved on Monday night by a select team of 17 policemen. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force which was deployed at Arthur Road jail continued to be stationed there, while Maharashtra police transported him.
Patil said though many individuals had expressed a desire to hang Kasab for free, a government official person conducted the execution.
The hangman was paid Rs 5,000 for the execution as per a new decision. Till recently, hangmen were given Rs 10 as per rules of 1960. ''Although we had received several applications from persons expressing their willingness to do the job for free, the government felt it would be best if an authorised person did it," Patil said.
The last accused hanged in Maharashtra was on July 13, 1995. Domestic help Amrutlal Joshi was hanged for killing a 77-year-old man in suburban Khar, Mumbai.
*Special sessions court hearing case gives verdict on February 21, 2011
*Supreme Court upholds decision on August 29, 2012
*September 11, 2012: Sessions court confirms date and time of execution as November 21, 2012, 7.30 am.
*September 12, 2012: Kasab files mercy petition
*September 26, 2012: Maharashtra governor rejects the plea.
*President Pranab Mukherjee rejects plea on November 8.
*Operation X was drafted and implemented with details of when and how to shift Kasab to Pune – as its Yerwada Jail has facility to execute.
*Moved on Monday night by 17 policemen.
26/11 by numbers
*Number of days required to put up a chargesheet: 90
*Chargesheet size: 14,280 pages
*Number of witnesses: 2,202
*Witnesses examined: 657
*Chargesheet put up on: February 25, 2009
*Trial commenced: April 16, 2009
*Trial in Special Court completed on: May 6, 2010
*Entire trial went on for 110 court working days
*Number of police officers and men involved in investigation: 99