The Maharashtra home department has decided to write to the Central government over the issue of the Rs 10.87-crore bill that the Indo-Tibetan border police (ITBP) has given to the state government, as reimbursement of expenses incurred while guarding 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, lodged in Arthur Road jail in the city.
The tab, sent to the government by the ITBP, is for the period between March 28, 2009, and September 30, 2010, which the state is not in favour of paying.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said that he was aware of the issue and would discuss it with state home minister RR Patil. However, he did not specify if he would talk to Union home minister P Chidambaram, who is authorised to take a final call on the matter.
“I don’t want to comment until I discuss the bill issue with him,” Chavan said.
A senior home department official said that the state government feels that it is unfair for the expenses to be borne solely by it, as Kasab’s security is a national issue, and bill payment is thus a national responsibility.
The home department has therefore decided to communicate with the centre about the bill and decide the further course of action.
“We will explain to them that the terror attacks are not an issue restricted to Mumbai but has national repercussions,” said Medha Gadgil, principal secretary, Home (Prisons).
There are about 200 security personnel from the ITBP who have been lodged in the Arthur Road jail after the special sessions court was set up in the jail premises.
Apart from the security, the state is already bearing costs of feeding Kasab and providing medical aid to him when required. The state spends Rs 31 per day on Kasab’s food.