India executes Ajmal Kasab, shrouds it in secrecy

Ajmal Kasab

The operation to execute Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was today shrouded in secrecy with even the hangman kept in the dark about the terrorist's identity till the last minute.

Kasab, who has been lodged at Arthur Road prison here ever since his arrest soon after the Mumbai terror attack, was whisked out of his heavily-guarded cell in the intervening night of November 18 and 19, a senior police official said.

"Kasab was escorted by senior officials of crime branch, commandos of Quick Response Team (QRT) and ITBP officials, who have been guarding the terrorist since his arrest in November 2008. The team, along with Kasab reached Pune's Yerwada jail in the wee hours of November 19," the official said.

According to the officer, except the Jail Superintendent, Deputy Jailor and doctor, no jail authority was informed about the identity of the accused.

"The jail authorities were only told that a high-profile accused is being brought to Yerwada. His identity was not revealed. Kasab was lodged in an isolated egg-shaped cell guarded by ITBP personnel," the official said.

Even the hangman was not informed about the identity of the accused till the last minute. "We had told the hangman that he is to execute the death penalty of a terrorist. The identity was revealed to him only few minutes before the execution," the official said.

Kasab was confined to a special-made bullet and bomb-proof cell at Arthur Road Central prison ever since his arrest in November 2008. However, he was executed in Yerwada prison as facilities to hang exist in that prison only, he said.

Before the execution, as per the norms, Kasab was asked if he had any final wishes, to which the terrorist replied in the negative.

Soon after he was hanged, the doctor, who was present in the room, confirmed Kasab's death and informed the government authorities.

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