The heavy security deployment at the Arthur Road jail where Mohammad Aamir Ajmal Kasab was kept can now be used for other high-profile under trials who may be lodged at the prison.
Jail officials believe that the high-security court where Kasab, the sole terrorist who had survived the 26/11 terror attacks was tried, has enough space for two courts to be set up in its premises.
Similarly, the high-security anda cell where Kasab was kept can be used to house other high-security prisoners in the future, said an official.
A jail official on the condition of anonymity said, “If a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court can be set up in place of the high-security court where Kasab was tried, it would be of great help to officials.” He added, “Since the court was set up in the jail premises, it will save us time that is otherwise lost in ferrying prisoners to and fro between court and jail. It will also help reduce the risk of accused escaping while being taken to court.”
The court at the Arthur Road jail had initially been set up to ensure tight security during the trial of the 1993 blasts accused. A jail official added, “Additional measures for security were taken when Kasab’s trial was about to begin.”
Among other security precautions that were taken when Kasab was brought to the Arthur Road jail was his heavily guarded, bombproof anda cell. “The anda cell can be used if other high security accused like Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal is ever brought to the Arthur Road jail,” the official added.
Additionally, a security cover of around 250 men including personnel from the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the local crime branch and police officers will be relieved from duty at the jail within a couple of days, confirmed inspector general (Prisons) Vinod Lokhande. “In due course, the security that had been tightened for Kasab will be phased out,” added Lokhande.
On Kasab’s high-security cell and the special court, Lokhande said, “We will make optimum utilisation of facilities. As of now I cannot reveal specific steps.”