Mumbai, Nov 21 (IANS): Z-plus category security, a special bullet- and bomb-proof cell, access to the court proceeding through video conferencing -- all this was made available to the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, convicted for the attacks in Mumbai Nov 26-29, 2008.
Sources within security circles and the home ministry say that protecting Kasab while he was in prison was one costly affair for the state. While the exact figure spent on Kasab is not known, sources said the state spent an estimated Rs.35 crore so far on Kasab's security.
The government had spent crores to build a special 20-feet corridor in the Aerthur Road Jail here as his egg-shaped cell was reinforced with iron plates and made bullet- and bomb-proof.
A battalion of armed paramilitary personnel was assigned to the jail when the trial began in the sessions court April 17, 2009.
The trial was held at a special courtroom created for the purpose.
Kasab was chained and handcuffed at all the times while he was presented before court. However, later during the trial at the Bombay High Court, he was allowed to be present only through video conferencing.
The facility was specially set up in his egg-shaped cell within the prison premises.
The special cell and the corridor have been built in such a way that a truck laden with explosives would not be able to affect it, if it were to ram into it.
The Arthur Road Jail was virtually turned into a fortress with around 1,000 policemen deployed outside the prison that housed Kasab's bomb-proof and bullet-proof cell.
Besides the special prison cell, another cell was created inside J.J. Hospital for Kasab's treatment.
Sources, however, said he was never taken there.
Doctors were summoned to the Arthur Road Jail whenever Kasab had a health problem.
Earlier this month, a team of doctors from J.J. Hospital treated him for dengue-like fever within the Arthur Road Prison, where he was lodged since his capture and conviction.