A tight veil of secrecy enveloped the hanging of 26/11 terrorist, Ajmal Kasab. Other than a few senior officers in the police and other departments, no one had any clue about the execution.
A senior officer, who was present during the hanging, told DNA that he had received a message from his higher-up late on Tuesday night, asking him to be present at Yerwada jail at 5am the next day to witness a hanging, but he had not been told who the convict was.
“When I reached the jail at 5am, I found no special security arrangement, but preparations for the hanging were almost complete. It was only at 6am that I came to know that it was Kasab who was to hang,” said the officer.
The hanging yard on the jail premises was almost ready and the final test of the hanging equipment was carried out at 6.45am. Other than the senior officers, a maulvi and the jail doctor were present.
“Even the maulvi had been in the dark about who would be hanged. He had apparently been told that some Muslim prisoner had died and his services would be necessary for the last rites. It was only around 7am that he learnt about the identity of the person,” said the officer.
The officers present had been instructed to refrain from talking to each other, and complete silence prevailed at the hanging yard.
“Kasab was brought to the yard at 7.15am sharp. He was wearing the usual uniform and his face had not yet been covered with the black hood. His face had a numbed sort of expression. Unlike other prisoners, whose hangings I have witnessed, Kasab did not utter a word. He walked as if in a daze and the noose was slipped around his neck. At 7.30am sharp, the lever was pulled,” said the officer.
As per rules, his body was kept hanging for 10 minutes and was taken off the noose at 7.40am. At 8am, his death certificate was issued by the doctor and a panchnama conducted. The same was sent to the magistrate in keeping with rules. After that, Kasab’s body was handed over the maulavi for burial.