Mumbai: Former Inspector General (Prisons), Maharashtra Meeran Chadha Borwankar, who was the first ever women to be posted as Commissioner of Mumbai Crime Branch in its 150-year long history witnessed the hanging of 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused Ajmal Kasab in 2012 and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon in 2015. During an interview to the The Sunday Express as quoted by The Indian Express, she revealed some inside details about Kasab, Memon’s execution.
Borwankar who was retired on Saturday revealed that the two cases were contrastingly different than each other as in Kasab’s case secrecy was the priority and in Memon’s hanging, the entire nation was watching us.
Borwankar informed that Kasab was kept in the custody of ITBP at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai from where he had to be shifted to Pune for the execution. A Crime Branch team was picked to carry out the transfer amid fears of a possible attack to kill him. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway was used for the movement and the highway police were put on high alert.
Borwankar also spoke about how one journalist came to know about Kasab’s transfer who later contacted Rakesh Maria (former Mumbai Police Commissioner). She added that the media didn’t have any information about Kasab’s hanging which was a big relief.
Borwankar also opened up about how the Pakistan High Commission refused to accept his body by saying that he was not their citizen.
And two years later, yet another similar case was handed over to her for execution of 1993 Mumbai blast case convict Yakub Memon in July 2015 in Nagpur. Borwankar picked the same team of officers for Memon’s execution, but there were differences in the two processions because in this case, Menon’s family was very active. His cousins came and met me and said they would get a stay from the court.
Borwankar was also quoted as saying that when the government asked her to supervise the two hangings, she didn’t take a step back and managed to remain present for both the executions. “I did not want people to comment on my gender and say that I couldn’t take up the responsibility because I am a woman,” she said.