Rs 41.81 crore in 4 years is Maharashtra's bill oo keep Kasab secure

In the four years since the 26/11 terror attack, the Maharashtra government ran up a bill of Rs 41.81 crore in keeping Ajmal Kasab secure. This was in addition to the relatively small amount spent on Kasab's food, medicine and clothes — Rs 84,019.

The major chunk of the Rs 41.82 crore is the Rs 33.88 crore levied by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), personnel from whom had been deployed in Mumbai since March 2009 to guard and provide security to Kasab. This is yet to be paid, with the state government seeking a waiver.

The state government also had to spend Rs 5.25 crore to build the high-security bulletproof cell inside Arthur Road Jail. It has requested ITBP and the Centre to waive ITBP's charges on the ground that the 26/11 strike was an attack on the nation and securing Kasab a national responsibility.

"We have requested that the ITBP charges be waived . It was an attack on national security. They have not responded to our request and we have not paid them either," said Home Minister R R Patil.

Meanwhile, ITBP companies deployed in Mumbai will be recalled in phases. The brief for their assignment was limited to keeping Kasab secure while the case was being heard.

"We have quoted a bill based on calculations of Rs 77 lakh per month since March 2009. Two companies of 130 men have been deployed for guarding Kasab since then. These are all men handpicked and chosen for the job as it was a very specific and sensitive assignment. The men chosen are specially trained and have also had postings in counter-insurgency operations. We will now remove them in phases and wait for orders from the Centre," said the ITBP spokesperson. "On the bill, we are waiting to hear from the government. We will send a final and updated bill once our companies are back. Such matters take time. We are happy that we ensured that nothing untoward happened to Kasab in this whole period."

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