Revealing expenditure on Yakub Memon against national security, Maharashtra

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Maharashtra’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has declined to share any information on expenses incurred on hanged 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon on grounds that it could affect “the sovereignty, unity and security of the country”, said a RTI applicant.

RTI activist Anil Galgali had sought details of all types of expenses incurred on Memon, right from his arrest in April 1994 to his hanging on 30 July this year.

The home department’s principal information officer Deepak Zadiye however replied that the information sought was declined under the RTI Act’s clause 8(1-c), as it could disturb “the sovereignty, unity and security of the country”.

Terming the order “strange”, Galgali has now filed an appeal, pointing out that the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party regime had provided all the information of hanged Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab in 2012.

He noted, “The inference of law can change as per convenience can be seen from this case, that how things have changed with the transfer of power from Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi.”

He added, urging Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene in the matter, “Moreover, the public money collected from taxes being paid by the common man is being spent on a traitor and the amount spent is concealed from the public, exposing the myth of transparency of this government.”

Kasab, the only surviving terrorist out of the 10 involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, was caught alive early hours of 27 November 2008 and was lodged in a specially-created solitary confinement cell from his trial till his hanging on 21 November 2012 in Yerawada Central Jail, Pune.

A staggering Rs.28.50 crore was spent on him, most of it on his security. The expenditure included for the elaborate security, the special cell within the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail, his transportation expenses, food, medicines and clothes during the four-year imprisonment.

The state government had also revealed that Rs.125 was incurred on Kasab’s food expenses on the night he was caught near Chowpatty in south Mumbai and just Rs.33 on the morning he was executed.

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