Maharashtra government had decided two months ago to execute Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday at the Yerwada prison in Pune, Home Minister RR Patil said.
"The Supreme Court upheld Kasab's death penalty on August 29 this year. On September 9, the state government began process for implementation of the death penalty. On September 11, in consultation with the additional sessions judge, the date for execution of Kasab's death penalty was fixed for today," Patil told reporters.
The entire operation was called 'Operation X', the Home Minister said, adding, the reason behind the secrecy was security concerns and for the execution to be performed smoothly.
"On November 12, I had a meeting with senior officials in Pune to discuss logistics. On November 18, Kasab was shifted to Yerwada prison," Patil said.
He further said that as per jail manual, Kasab was informed in Hindi and Urdu about the execution and his signature was taken on the death warrant.
"Jail manual also prescribes for the family of the accused to be informed. The state government approached the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which through Ministry of External Affairs informed the Pakistan High Commission," the minister said.
According to Patil, the hangman who executed Kasab was paid Rs 5,000 for the job.
"Earlier, the hangman used to get Rs10. Now it is Rs5,000. Although we had received several applications from persons expressing their willingness to do the job for free, the government felt it would be best if an authorised person does it," Patil said.
Before Kasab, the last person to be executed in Maharashtra was in 1995, Patil said.
Patil also clarified that the state government would not be bearing the expenditure incurred by the security cover provided to Kasab by the ITBP personnel.
"We had earlier also said that the Central government should bear the expense as the attack was not just on Maharashtra but on the entire nation. We have not yet received any response from the Centre," Patil said.