For the select policemen involved in the covert operation to shift 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab from Mumbai to Pune, the phrase “Parcel reached Fox” signalled that the van carrying him had reached the jail where he was to be hanged the next day.
A senior police official involved in carrying out the operation said this was one of the seven code words/phrases used during the exercise, of which only the then home minister RR Patil and a few top police officials were aware of.
The code “Parcel reached Fox” was the last code exchanged between two senior officials involved in the operation to transport Kasab, he told PTI.
The hand-picked team was tasked with shifting Kasab from the high security ‘Anda Cell’ of Arthur Road prison in Central Mumbai to Yerwada Central Prison in Pune, he said.
The lone terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 attacks was covered in a ‘burqa’ while being taken out of his cell on the night of November 20, 2012, and put in a police vehicle, the officer recalled.
“It was a big responsibility to transport him to Yerwada prison to be hanged. A death warrant was served to him seven days before the execution,” he said.
The ‘Force One’ commando team of police, carrying advanced weapons, accompanied Kasab’s vehicle. A State Reserve Police Force team was trailing the vehicle a little behind, so as not to arouse suspicions when it was on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Except for two handsets, mobile phones of all officers and other police personnel involved in the operation were switched off and packed in a bag, the official said.
“During the entire three-hour-long journey, Kasab did not utter a single word,” he said. His demeanour did not change even when he was handed over to the Yerwada prison authorities at around 3 am, the official said.
By the time their mobile phones were switched on again the next day, November 21, the world knew that Kasab was executed, he said.