Operation X, the top secret operation, carried out by the state police and jail administration in hanging Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Kasab was as secretive as the burial of his nine fellow comrades in January 2010, who were involved in the terror strike in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
The nine gunmen had been killed at four different locations - Chhabad House, Trident hotel, Taj Hotel, Girgaum Chowpatty - during the counter offensive launched by the National Security Guards (NSG) and Mumbai police.
The bodies of the terrorists-all charred by grenade explosions and riddled with bullet wounds during the fierce gun battle with security forces-had been kept at the morgue at the JJ hospital after they were recovered from the places of encounter.
The police at a later stage too sent their DNA samples to Pakistan for matching with their relatives and family members (for identification) and even offer was made to send the bodies back to that country.
Needless to say that though the bodies were already identified by the police, the diplomatic formality was done on humanitarian ground so as to allow their family members perform the last rites.
However, Pakistan refused to own the terrorists and the bodies were kept in the cold storage for over a year.
When the government mulled over burying the bodies in a Muslim graveyard in Mumbai, various Muslim groups opposed the move by making it clear that they won't be allocating any space for burying the terrorists in their respective burial grounds.
The government gauged the public sentiment and withdrew its plans for burying the nine gunmen in Mumbai.
However, as the bodies started rotting, it became difficult and expensive to preserve them. A top secret operation was launched to bury the bodies by keeping the event away from public and media glare.
Highly placed crime branch sources said that the bodies were taken out at mid-night (like the way Kasab was taken to Yerwada jail) from the JJ hospital morgue and only the night doctor (at the coroner) and helper at the morgue were kept in the loop apart from a selected number of crime branch officials who were involved in the investigation of the case.
The bodies were taken to a place on the outskirts of Mumbai in a police van. A burial ground was avoided in order not to attract any attention. The bodies were buried after a constable performed the last rites. The entire operation was one of Mumbai police's best kept secret till date.
Only two days after the terrorists were buried, home minister RR Patil went public about the burial.
The nine terrorists
1) Ismail Khan alias Abu Ismail - Gunned down at Girgaum Chowpatty. He parterned Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and opened fire at Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus. Also, the duo was responsible to gun down ATS chief Hemant Karkare, additional commissioner of police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.
2) Hafeez Arshad alias Abdul Rehman (Bada) - A resident of Multan in Pakistan, Hafiz was among the four terrorists who were exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Taj
3) Javed alias Abu Ali - A resident of Okara district in Pakistan, Javed was among the four terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Taj
4) Shoaib alias Abu Shoeb - A resident of Naruwal village near Sialkot district in Pakistan, Shoaib was among the four terrorists who were exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Taj
5) Nazir alias Abu Umer - A resident of Multan in Pakistan, Nazir was among the four terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Taj
6) Nasir alias Abu Umar - A resident of Faisalabad in Pakistan, Nasir is the only terrorist in the entire group who was married. He was among the two terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Nariman House
7) Babbar Imran alias Abu Akasha - A resident of Multan in Pakistan, Imran was among the two terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Nariman House
8) Abdul Rehman alias chotta - A resident of Arafwala village on Multan Road in Pakistan, Rehman was among the two terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Oberoi
9) Fahadullah alias Abu Fahad -A resident of Dipalpur Talukar in Okara district in Pakistan, Fahadullah was among the two terrorists exterminated by the National Security Guards at Hotel Oberoi