Kasab laughed when told he was being shifted

Wednesday

Officials who dealt with Kasab during his last 24 hours in Mumbai said he showed neither remorse nor worry while being shifted to Pune. Soon after his clemency petition was rejected, a warrant to the effect was furnished to the Arthur Road Central Jail, where Kasab has been lodged under maximum security for the past four years.

"We entered his cell and told him to stand up, which he did. Never been one to stand up at the entry of a senior official, his manner was neither respectful nor disrespectful on Sunday night. He was first told he was being shifted to a jail in Pune, to which he laughed. He might have realised he had exhausted all his options and that death was finally coming," said an officer involved with Kasab's transport to Pune.

Some time later, an elaborate order was read out to Kasab, who listened with a smile. He looked around the cell where he had stayed since his arrest for a brief moment and then stood still.

Kasab was then escorted to a waiting police vehicle, under the close watch of crime branch officials, Quick Response Team commandos and Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel who have been guarding Kasab since 2008.

All the officers had been handpicked by the team assigned the task of overseeing Kasab's shifting and execution.

"Kasab gave no trouble during the whole process. His attitude was almost cooperative. We asked him if he was feeling unwell in light of his recent illness. He only shook his head," said another officer.

Kasab was driven to Pune in a convoy of several escort vehicles. An advance team had already been sent to Pune a day earlier to help with the preparations.

Officials said that Kasab mutely climbed into his vehicle, not once looking back while he was being taken out into the compound. Infamous for having demanded mutton biryani and drawing the judge's ire by smiling to himself during court proceedings, Kasab had become quiet and unconcerned over the last couple of months, they said.

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