Mumbai, May 24: A staggering Rs 11 crores has been spent on guarding 26/11 terror convict Ajmal Kasab and the security force protecting him wants it back. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force has slapped a bill of Rs 10.87 crore on Maharashtra Government for guarding Kasab at the Arthur Road jail and sought its reimbursement which has stunned the state.
R K Bhatia, Director General of ITBP, whose 200 commandos provide 24-hour security to Kasab, has raised the bill received for reimbursement of expenses incurred between March 28, 2009 and September 30,2010. Medha Gadgil, Maharashtra's Principal Home Secretary, told PTI that the state government will be writing to the ITBP explaining their position that it was not just state government's burden.
“We are in the process of writing to them. We will explain that 26/11 terror attacks is not only an issue limited to Maharashtra but a national issue,” she said. “What Kasab and his associates did is an attack not only on Mumbai but an attack on India and it is unfair to ask the state government to bear the burden (for ITBP guarding Kasab),” another senior Home department official said. The ITPB was deployed in the jail where a Special Court held conducted trial of Kasab, the lone Pakistani gunman who was arrested on the night of 26/11.
Last year, the home department sought an extension for the deployment of the ITBP which comprised around 200 commandos, armed with sophisticated weaponry and communication equipment, guarding Kasab 24x7.
The ITBP team was deployed for the trial period, after which the state government wrote to the Centre, seeking an extension, the official said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said he would discuss the ITBP bill issue with Home Minister R R Patil.
“I will talk to the Home Minister on this issue and don't want to speak about it further,” Chavan told reporters, declining to comment further.
When asked about David Coleman Headley's testimony in a Chicago Court in the 26/11 terror attacks, Chavan said he did not want to speak on it based on media reports.
“The Centre will give us official communication on the ongoing trial and then the state government will proceed on that basis,” the Chief Minister said. PTI