The over 200 security personnel guarding 26/11 attacker Mohammad Amir Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged to death on Wednesday, are still waiting to be relieved of their duties from the Arthur road jail. Logically there is no need for their presence there, the guards are awaiting orders from the government.
The security personnel that guarded Kasab’s high security cell at Arthur road included Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) commandoes and personnel from the local police and city crime branch.
When questioned if the security staff has been phased out, as Kasab was no longer at the prison, Inspector General (prisons) Vinod Lokhande said, The security staff has not been taken off as yet, as there is a due procedure that needs to be followed for the same. The process has been initiated and the security staff will be taken off soon.”
An official clarified that while the guards have not been relieved as yet, there are no longer part of the security ring that had been formed around Kasab’s cell, when he was lodged there.
Explaining how the procedure works, a jail official talking on condition of anonymity said that for the ITBP staff to be withdrawn, an order would need to come from the central government following which the staff will be relieved.
Lokhande added that the same would apply for personnel from the local police and crime branch where order from state authorities is required. “When the security staff have to be relieved, will depend on the communication from respective heads of the units,” Lokhande said.
When asked if any decision had been taken regarding how would the high security cell and the court where Kasab was tried be used, Superintendent of Arthur road jail V D Burkule said, “A decision on those lines will be taken by the government. So far we have not received any instructions.”