press trust of india
MUMBAI, 28 JUNE: A day after gangster Abu Salem was shot at in Taloja jail, four security personnel were today suspended pending a high-level probe even as his lawyers are planning to move Portuguese authorities for his repatriation.
An attempt to murder case was also registered against
his assailant, Devendra Jagtap alias JD.
State home minister R R Patil said additional director general (prisons) Meeran Borwankar will hold an inquiry into the incident. “Responsibility for the incident will be fixed and stringent action, including dismissal from service, will be taken against those found guilty,” Mr Patil said.
Jagtap had allegedly fired two rounds with a country-made revolver at Salem, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts who was extradited from Portugal on 11 November 2005 after a prolonged legal battle.
Police are, however, so far clueless about the motive behind the attack. “Two rounds were fired with a gun that was smuggled into the jail some days before the attack,” Mr A K Sharma, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner, told reporters.
Meanwhile, the jail authorities have suspended four security personnel, including a jailor and three constables, for dereliction of duty on the basis of a preliminary inquiry. “We have suspended an officer and three cops,” said Ms Borwankar, adding those who faced action were on duty at the gate and in the prison’s high-security zone.
Those suspended are jailor Mr Sanjay Sable and constables Mr Chandrakant Pathare, Mr Nitin Sawant and Mr Gitesh Randhive. Ms Borwankar admitted that security at the entrance of the jail had been breached.
Meanwhile, Salem’s lawyer Saba Qureshi has said they would approach Portuguese authorities seeking the extradited gangster’s repatriation.
“One of the conditions of extradition was that Abu Salem be protected. This condition stands violated as he has been attacked inside the jail. So, we plan to seek intervention of authorities in Portugal to have Salem repatriated,” she said.
Ms Qureshi also said since Salem was being tried by a TADA court in connection with the 1993 blasts and the murder of builder Pradeep Jain, she will inform the court about the “shocking” security breach in jail that led to the attack.
“I have met Salem and he said he was clueless about the attack,” said Ms Qureshi, adding she had repeatedly requested prison authorities to beef up his security since the 2010 attack on him by a Dawood Ibrahim aide, Mustafa Dossa, also a 1993 blast accused, in Arthur Road Jail.