The preparations for the convoy that ferried Ajmal Kasab from Mumbai to Pune were worked out by senior police officials, to ensure that they drove unrecognised, and in the event that they did encounter obstacles on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway they would fight their way through.
An alternative route was also mapped out, just in case.
A senior police official, who was privy to the arrangements to shift the 26/11 attacker, said that while the timing of the operation was an issue, it was more important that the group of vehicles was not identified along the way. In fact, most of the team members did not use their police uniform.
"The vehicles, all SUVs, neither had any police identification display, nor sirens. They were appear like just some common passenger vehicles, so that they did not attract attention," the official said. "A stipulated distance was also maintained between the vehicles."
The SUVs also changed sequence along the route, so no one knew the vehicle in which Kasab was travelling.
These procedures were discussed and decided at two special meetings on November 12 and 20.
Interestingly, only one of the officials, who was in charge of the shifting exercise, was allowed to retain his mobile phone to communicate with the officers monitoring the operation. The official preferred to remain silent on how the group travelling in separate vehicles communicated between themselves.
The senior police official said the team members were armed with short and long-range weapons for protection in the event of an attack. "The commandos were ready to deal with the situation if anyone approached or attacked the convoy," he said. "In case there was some problem along the Mumbai-Pune expressway, it was decided to use the old Pune highway. Contingency plans were in place. But thankfully everything went well."