Mumbai: The clamour for speedily sending him to the gallows notwithstanding, a staggering Rs 16 crore has been shelled out for protecting the country's most high-profile prisoner Ajmal Kasab.
Sentenced to death by the special anti-terror court, Kasab, in his mid-20s, is lodged in a special cell in Arthur Road jail, the construction of which alone cost the state exchequer over Rs 5.24 crore.
"Besides Rs 5.24 crore that was spent on constructing the special cell at the Arthur Road prison, Rs 26,953 was spent on taking care of his medical needs," state Home Secretary Medha Gadgil said.
A whopping Rs 10.87 crore was spent between March 28, 2009 and September 30, 2010 for providing him security cover by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), she said.
However, after the state government received the bill for Rs 10.87 crore to be paid towards deployment of ITBP, it wrote to the Centre expressing its inability to make the payment, saying Kasab's security was not Maharashtra's concern alone.
"The state government had written to the Centre asking it to consider waiving the amount. We have not received any communication so far. The issue remains unresolved," she said.
Gadgil said the expenditure does not include the legal fees for the court case.
However, contrary to claims in the media by those demanding Kasab's hanging without any further delay that the Pakistani terrorist was being fed delicacies like biryani, Gadgil said a modest Rs 27 per day was spent on providing him food.