By all counts, the shifting of Ajmal Amir Kasab from his high security cell at the Arthur road prison to the Yerawada jail in Pune for his impending execution was the most daunting part of Operation X.
A senior police official, entrusted with the task of ensuring the safe passage to Kasab’s convoy during its 170 km journey, revealed HT the meticulously planned shifting operation was put into act an hour past Monday mid night.
The official said that at around 1 am on Tuesday, Kasab was informed about his shifting to Pune. It was as if he knew what was in store for him, Kasab did not even ask the reason for his shifting.
Kasab was ushered into an unmarked SUV parked at the gate of the prisons with a posse of commandos from the Force One covering him.
Another unmarked SUV with commandos was positioned at a distance while three more at the tail with plain cloth commandos positioned inside.
All the SUVs in the convoy were unmarked in order to avoid any attention or suspicion. All the five SUVs began their journey to Pune at around 1.30 am and maintained the speed limit prescribed to them.
The pilot vehicle at the front was constantly in touch with the trailing four over the wireless while the movement of the vehicles was monitored over a map as they were fitted with GPS.
The official said that the vehicles changed their positioning at intervals during the journey.
It was done with a view to avoid any possibility of ambush on the vehicle carrying Kasab whose position inside the SUV, he was traveling in, was too changed in intervals in order to rule out any possible sniper strike.
The convoy drove non-stop and reached Pune at around 4.15 am. All went well and the stealth journey passed off without raising any eyebrows or suspicion. Interestingly, Kasab did not utter a word during the entire journey.