Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole surviving 26/11 attacker, showed no visible emotion and maintained complete silence as he was taken to the gallows on Wednesday morning, a police official present during the execution at the Yerwada jail has told The Hindu.

“His eyes stayed downcast, and he didn’t say a word,” the official said, “he didn’t shout or struggle and the end came quickly.” “I’ve seen lots of colourful stories in the media today [on Wednesday] about his remembering his mother and praying for forgiveness,” the official added. “I wish they were true, because we Indians love a good tearjerker, but the fact is he didn’t say one single word.”

“Frankly,” the officer concluded, “I’m not sure if he fully understood exactly what was going on. It’s also possible he’d ceased to care.”

Sources in the Maharashtra Police, who had dealt with Kasab, said this was of a piece with his conduct over the past two years at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, where he had almost no communication with prison staff. Guards stationed outside Kasab’s cell, the sources said, had strict instructions not to engage with him in anything but functional conversation.

“I’ve seen what a year in solitary confinement does to someone,” a prison official said, “and Kasab spent four years like that … Let’s just say it didn’t make him talkative and engaging.”

In recent months, newspapers have carried stories of allegedly lavish meals being served to the 26/11 perpetrator. “We try to look after all prisoners as best we can,” the prison official added, “but if anyone thinks we’re holding biryani parties, they know what they have to do to find out firsthand.”

Kasab, both sources said, was not told of the reasons why he was being moved to Pune on Monday. “Perhaps he guessed,” the police officer said, “but if he did, he didn’t say anything. He was only formally informed [later that day].” Prison authorities at Yerwada were also informed of the decision to carry out the execution only on Monday, police sources said.

There has been no communication between Kasab’s family in Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist since his arrest. He also did not receive visits, other than those from lawyers who fought his case.