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Kasab jail rings with hate calls

Arthur Road jail authorities said they have been getting hate calls — five a week — since Kasab was moved there in February after weeks of interrogation at an undisclosed location, reports Rachna Pratihar.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2009 01:18 IST
Rachna Pratihar
Rachna Pratihar
Hindustan Times

“Kill him in the jail. I am sure you can do that by some means or the other. It is only his death which can heal the wounds that have been inflicted on our family after Kasab killed my uncle who was just doing his duty.”

This was Vandana (name changed) in a phone call to the Arthur Road jail which houses the only 26/11 terrorist arrested, Ajmal Amir Kasab. Her uncle, a senior police officer, was killed along with two other officers in a gun battle near Rang Bhavan.

Jail authorities said they had been getting many such hate calls — five a week — since Kasab was moved there in judicial custody, after many weeks of being interrogated by police officials and investigators at an undisclosed location.

Kasab was arrested at Girgaum Chowpatty on November 26 after he and his accomplice had attacked CST station, killing many people.

They had then killed three senior officers — Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar — during a gun battle near Rang Bhavan.

“The calls started pouring in immediately before Kasab was remanded to judicial custody,” said a jail official. “This was even before he actually moved to the Arthur Road jail.” He refused to be named as he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

Most hate calls come from relatives of 26/11 victims. The callers who are generally angry, and direct, plead with jail officials to slap and kick Kasab. Some even say he should be poisoned or served poor food. They even abuse the “terrorist” occasionally.

One caller asked a prison official, “Why don’t you slap him? He has no right to survive after having killed so many people.”

All such callers get a patient hearing. “We sympathise with them because their anger is justified and explain to them the legal procedure through which punishment should be awarded to Kasab. At the same time, we also make them understand the importance of Kasab, who will prove to be a crucial evidence in establishing the role of the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks,” said a jail official requesting anonymity.

First Published: Mar 09, 2009 01:07 IST