Ajmal Kasab hanged: It began quietly after dinner on Monday

Ajmal Kasab

The quiet but determined plan to execute 26/11 villain Ajmal Kasab was set in motion the night of Monday, soon after the prisoner on death row had had his dinner at Mumbai's Arthur Road jail.

Kasab was guided to a police vehicle at night and a discreet convoy tracked it till it reached Pune's Yerwada Jail. Not a soul knew as no updates were shot out on wireless. Even the guards ferrying him to Yerwada did not know who their prisoner was.

The entire operation from Monday night to 7.30 am on Wednesday morning – when Ajmal Kasab was hanged – was carried out by a squad of chosen IPS officers.

A similar close-guarded squad of the Maharashtra police officers had seen to the burial of the rest of Kasab's militant squad of nine four years ago.

A specific standard operating procedure was planned in this case soon after the Supreme Court upheld Kasab's death penalty.

Ajmal Kasab has also been buried in Pune's Yerwada jail.

Meanwhile, it was no less ironic that the day Ajmal Kasab was hanged, three bravehearts of 26/11 were felicitated by a television channel. 13-year-old Devika Rotawan, who was shot in her leg and later testified in court against Kasab, was felicitated at the event by former director general of police, Maharashtra Dr P S Pasricha. She said: "I am very happy that Kasab was hanged. I had seen Kasab fire away at the Victoria Terminus and he was laughing remorselessy. All terrorists should meet this end. My only regret is that I could not see him die. When I grow up, I want to be an IPS officer so I can fight all such terrorists."

Also felicitated was V D Zende, the announcer at VT who alerted the crowd at the platforms once the firing started on 26/11. "The most important thing is public awareness. If the people in VT that day would not have been alerted, many others would have died. Every single person including youngsters must be aware and alert," Zende said.

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