With trial to commence in a couple of days, the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab is under heavy surveillance, round the clock, by members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at the high-security Arthur road central jail.
"He (Kasab) has been kept in isolation in a separate cell heavily guarded by ITBP men. Except for a copy of the 11,000-page chargesheet, Kasab has nothing else in his cell," police sources said.
Kasab has asked for newspapers to read but the court is yet to pass an order on his plea. A strong posse of ITBP guards have been deployed around his cell and they come on duty in various shifts. Kasab has been segregated from other prisoners, the sources said.
The jail is divided into two sections, the first comprises 11 barracks where undertrials owing allegiance to different underworld gangs are lodged, while the other houses the trial court as well as an exclusive bomb proof cell for Kasab.
In between Kasab's cell and the court, the authorities have built a bomb proof tunnel which connects the two and would give direct entry to the gunman into the court, they added.
Kasab's cell, court and the tunnel have been built with strong steel-concrete walls, strong enough to withstand bomb and bullet attacks, at an estimated cost of Rs two crore. This is for the first time that such an arrangement has been made in the Arthur road jail.
This court would now become a permanent structure for the future trials in sensitive cases, sources said. Nearly 250 workers were engaged in reconstructing Kasab's cell and tunnel with bullet and bomb proof walls.
"The work is almost over and finishing touches are being given as the trial is slated to begin in the next few days," sources added.
Adjacent to the jail is a narrow by-lane which serves as a business centre and has also a residential colony in the vicinity.
All the areas have been completely sealed and families have been issued a pass to commute to and fro from the residence to the main road near the jail.
Although walls of the jail are quite high, anyone can lob a hand grenade into the prison from outside and hence the concept of bomb proof tunnel was mooted to provide tight security to Kasab during the trial, sources said.