Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

ITBP Bill and Maharashtra

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sent a bill for Rs.10.87 crores to Maharashtra government for providing security to Ajmal Kasab for the period from 28 March 2009 to 30 September 2010. Maharashtra government says it does not have the money and has discontinued ITBP protection to Ajmal Kasab.

There was no need to deploy 200 men to guard Ajmal Kasab. The trial was inside the jail. There were other expenses that were unnecessary like constructing a hospital ward for him at the cost of 2 crore rupees which was not used and a tunnel at the cost of 50 lakh rupees which was rarely used.

Ajmal Kasab is a convict sentenced to death and should be treated like other convicts sentenced to death. His appeal is pending in the High Court. After that he may appeal to the Supreme Court and send mercy petition to the president. The cost of keeping him alive upto that time is estimated to be 40 crore rupees.

What happens to the money Maharashtra gets from various taxes? Compared to the tax collection Maharashtra makes 10.87 crores is a small amount and it is laughable that Maharashtra is unable to pay that amount. Law and order is a state subject and Maharashtra should pay the amount. It is not right to refuse payment on the ground that Ajmal Kasab is the responsibility of the whole country and international community is watching us. Ajmal Kasab is not a prisoner of war. We need not worry about international community. Many things happen in the world and international community does nothing.

In future ITBP should raise bills on a monthly basis. That will save them lot of trouble. It is not known why they do not raise bills on a monthly basis. They should also send the bill for the period from 1 October 2010 to the date they discontinued in May 2011 soon to Maharashtra.

Railway Protection Force (RPF) must learn a lesson from what happened to ITBP and raise a bill for Mamata Banerjee’s security with effect from 20/5/2011, the day she became chief minister of West Bengal and took about 80 personnel from RPF for her personal security. RPF is for railways and not meant to provide security to a chief minister.

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