'He did not shed a single tear in last few days'

Satyajit Joshi & Mohamed Thaver

Pune, Nov. 22 -- To prevent any leaks, only 17 people in the state government were involved in the planning and execution of Ajmal Kasab, after the Centre conveyed to the state that President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected his mercy plea.

Most officials in Yerawada jail were not even aware that Kasab had been brought there from Mumbai's Arthur Road jail in the early hours of Tuesday and heard about it only after the operation had been completed.

Kasab was kept in a special cell in Yerawada for around 30 hours, before he was executed.

"None of us was aware that Kasab was in Yerawada and that he was going to be hanged on Wednesday. We only anticipated that something was going to happen because of some movements," said an official who was not authorised to speak to the media.

Only the jail superintendent was informed that Kasab was being shifted from Arthur Road jail to Yerawada, the official said.

"He was brought in a van, which came via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway," another official added.

"Throughout the journey from Mumbai to Pune, he did not cause any trouble," said an official from Arthur Road jail who accompanied him to Yerawada jail.

Officials at Arthur Road jail who used to interact with Kasab said he had become resigned to his fate by the end.

"He did not shed a single tear during his last few days."

Sources said Yerawada jail authorities had made preparations to bury him in the jail premises and did so soon after he was hanged on Wednesday morning.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.