But this ring of protection comes at a cost - the monthly bill for the ITBP works out to Rs 77 lakh. Since the state governments pay for the deployment of para-military forces, Maharashtra is to foot the bill and it now owes the ITBP Rs 28 crore.
But the Mahrashtra government is reluctant to shell out the money. Its plea is that 26/11 was not just an attack on Mumbai but the entire country. So paying for the commandos is not just its responsibility.
The union home ministry though is not buying Maharashtra's logic. Ministry sources say that it may deduct a portion of the security-related expenditure allocated to Maharashtra to pay for that outstanding amount. While the ministry agrees that keeping Kasab secured is not just Maharashtra's responsibility, it doesn't want this to become a precedent by quoting "national interest".
The ITBP was called in to protect Kasab after the Maharashtra government made a request to the centre following intelligence assessments that Kasab could be targeted inside the prison. A 20-ft long bomb and bullet-proof tunnel was also constructed inside the jail premises to connect Kasab's cell with the special court, where the trial was held.
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