26/11 terrorist Ajmal Qasab, who was hanged early this morning, was aware of the date on which he was to be executed and had been made to sign his death warrant before being moved to the Pune jail on November 19.
According to official sources, a senior jail official read out the death warrant to Qasab at his cell and also informed him that his clemency petition had been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
After reading out his death warrant, Qasab, who was part of the 10-member Lashkar group that carried out the dastardly attack on November 26, 2008, was asked to sign it which he did, the sources said.
Later, he was taken by the Yerwada Jail police and the local police was kept out of the loop to maintain secrecy of the operation.
Barring a couple of officers, the 200-strong contingent of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which has been guarding him since March 2009, had been kept out of loop about his transfer to Pune.
The sources said the ITBP jawans continued to guard the empty high-security cell, which had been housing 25-year-old Qasab.