‘With Kasab’s execution, I have proved that I am not weak’
Girish Kuber: Why was there such a high level of secrecy in the Ajmal Kasab execution operation and why was he hanged ahead of others sentenced to death?
I was appointed Union Home Minister on August 1. In the last four months, only Kasab’s file was put before me. The Home Ministry received the file around the first week of October. We took stock of the case. The file was sent to the President on October 16. On November 5, the President rejected Kasab’s mercy petition. I returned from the Interpol meeting on November 7 and was informed about a top-secret file from the President. Instructions were given to the home secretary to ensure secrecy. Only the top three or four officials in my department were aware of the development. The next day, November 8, we sent the file to the Maharashtra government through a special messenger. There have been earlier instances of a stay order on the execution a day ahead of the actual date of hanging, therefore the secrecy. Also, there were concerns of an attack on the jail or while transporting him. To avoid these, complete secrecy was maintained.
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