Operation X to terminate ‘C-7096’
By Yatish Yadav | Published: 22nd November 2012 10:15 AM |
Minutes after Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde signed file number ‘C-7096’ on November 7, a covert operation to execute Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab was put in place by the government. A top source said it was treated as a ‘State Secret’ and very few in the Central and State governments were kept in the loop. Kasab’s file was only referred to as ‘C-7096’ to camouflage its movement between various government departments.
It is learnt that apart from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Home Secretary R K Singh, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and intelligence chiefs Nehchal Sandhu and Sanjeev Tripathi were roped in to discuss the plan to shift Kasab from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai to Yerawada in Pune for the execution.
Barring a couple of officers, the 200-strong contingent of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which has been guarding Kasab since March 2009, had been kept out of the loop about his transfer to Pune jail. Sources said the ITBP jawans continued to guard the empty high-security cell, which had housed Kasab.
“The covert operation, codenamed Operation X, to carry out the execution, started on November 5, the day President Pranab Mukherjee returned the file. ‘C-7096’ was forwarded to the Maharashtra government on November 8 with a request to rope in officials only on a need-to-know basis. Even the officials in internal security and two Ministers of State in the Union Home Ministry were not aware about the execution date,” sources said.
Taking a leaf out of US Operation Geronimo that killed Osama bin Laden, the government planned and executed every move. Sources said the Home Ministry had asked the State to deploy a special team headed by an Inspector General-level officer to carry out the operation and it was asked to choose a date out of two optional dates for the execution.