Sixteen barracks, including four egg-shaped cells (popularly called anda cells), house the 2,900-odd inmates of the Arthur Road jail. The anda cells house those prisoners who are separated from the rest either for security concerns or because court orders demand so.
Most members of the D-gang — about 70 inmates — convicted in the 1993 serial blasts case are held on the first floor in barrack number six. The barrack is one of the few to have a television set and attached toilet facilities. Some of the convicts in the barrack include Salim Kutta, Mohammed Ehtesham, Farooq Pawle and Zakir Hussain.
Three others convicted in the blasts case, the Memon brothers — Yakub, Yusuf and Essa — share their cell in barrack number 11 with gangster Abu Salem who was deported from Portugal in November 2005. Mansoor Ahmed, Ayub Patel, Salim Rahim Shaikh, Nasim Barmare, Vijay Patil and Uttam Potdar too are lodged in the same barrack.
Barrack number one houses three more convicts in the serial blasts case. S.S. Talawadekar, R.K. Singh and Jayawant Gurav, all former customs officers, were held guilty for accepting bribes to allow smooth passage of arms and ammunition from Raigad to Mumbai.
Yet another three convicts in the same case — Mulchand Shah, Raju Kodi and Mohammed Kasam Lajpuria — are in the jail hospital for cardiac-related illnesses.
Inmates of the anda cell include Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother Iqbal Kaskar and his men. Kaskar has been held under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for his underworld links and for illegally developing the Sara-Sahara shopping complex at Crawford market. While Kaskar was himself deported from Dubai in 2003, his men including Abdul Rehman and Satar Teli (held in 2003) and Tariq Parveen (held on 19 July 2004) were arrested in Mumbai.
Also lodged in the anda cell is D.K. Rao, Chhota Rajan’s close lieutenant. Rao was arrested under MCOCA in an extortion case on 14 December 2005.
Other inmates of the prison include members of the Arun Gawli and the Amar Naik gangs. Most of them are held in cases of robbery, extortion, murder and attempt-to-murder.
Email Sunil Shivdasani: firstname.lastname@example.org