‘Expensive’ ITBP discarded, Maharashtra to guard Kasab (Lead)

May 25th, 2011 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) Days after the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) sent a whopping Rs.10.87 crore bill for protecting Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in a Mumbai jail, the Maharashtra government Wednesday decided to deploy its own police to secure the lone gunman captured during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Home Minister R.R. Patil said that now the Pakistani terrorist will be provided security by the state police.

“The 26/11 terror attack was not an attack only on Mumbai of Maharashtra, but the entire country. Even the centre is equally responsible for sharing and paying for the ITBP security. We plan to ask the centre for some concession in the security bill,” Patil told reporters here.

He said directives have been issued to Maharashtra Director General of Police Ajit Parasnis to depute special commando teams drawn from state police to guard Kasab, currently lodged in the high-security Arthur Road Central Jail.

“The government has decided that a team of our own capable persons will protect Kasab and we shall remove ITBP’s security,” Patil told mediapersons here.

Since March 2009, over 150 ITBP personnel have been deployed in and around the jail to protect the high-profile prisoner. Kasab’s trial was also held in a specially created court inside the jail premises.

Kasab was sentenced to death for killing people during the carnage. Nine of his associates, who infiltrated by sea, were killed during gun battles in the city with the security forces.

The state government has already spent around Rs.6 crore to create the bomb-proof metal chamber around Kasab’s cell and a small passage connecting it to the air-conditioned special court.

Besides other security paraphernalia like metal detectors, dog squads, CCTVs, the government also issued special biometric passes to all, including police, lawyers and reporters who attended the trial.

Post-trial, ITBP continued to provide security for Kasab in the jail, where normally prisoners facing trial are lodged, and convicted prisoners are moved to other jails across the state.

However, it was decided to continue keeping Kasab in the Arthur Road prison since the infrastructure created here was considered the best for his security.

As per the norms, when the state government seeks special security services from central paramilitary forces, it pays for the services availed.

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