No multi-level security for Jundal in Kasab cell

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 08 Februari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Abu Jundal alias ZabihhudinAnsari, suspected key conspirator and handler in the 26/11 terror attacks, has been brought to the city for framing of charges in another case on Friday. On the Central government's instructions, he has been kept in the same cell where his slain protege, AjmalKasab, was lodged for four years.

However, Jundal is neither surrounded by special security nor commandos. He is served the jail's usual vegetarian food, unlike Kasab for whom police had appointed six cooks. Sources said there is a possibility that Jundal will not be taken to court and will be heard in the courtroom through video-conferencing.

In November last year, TOI had reported that Jundal could be lodged in Kasab's empty cell. A special MCOCA court is likely to frame charges against Jundal in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. Kasab had allegedly provided firearms, ammunition and hand grenades to other accused and fled after a police van chased him in May 2006.

While on the run, he reached Pakistan via Bangladesh and joined Lashkar-e-Taiba. He allegedly taught Hindi to 10 Pakistani terrorists. Jundal, a Beed resident, was part of the 26/11 terror conspiracy. He guided, motivated and instigated the Pakistani terrorists to kill people over phone. Jundal was in a Karachi control room of the LeT at the time of the attacks. He was caught by the Saudi Arabian police in May this year and deported to India on June 21.

A jail official said, "When Kasab was kept here, there were five policemen, including an inspector-level officer, posted exactly outside the cell round-the-clock. His food was prepared by police cooks. Jundal does not have all these facilities. He is eating the jail food which is prepared for all inmates. There is no inspector-level officer posted outside his cell. Security level has also been downgraded. No intelligence officer is posted near the cell to keep a watch on the activities outside the jail."

The state government spent crores of rupees on designing the special cell for Kasab. It was bomb and fire-proof. The 10x10ft cell has a bathroom, bed and close-circuit cameras. Around 30 meters away is the court where Kasab was tried. "There was fear Kasab could be killed in jail before he was lodged there. So the jail authorities, in consultation with the government, allowed construction work there. Now Kasab has been hanged and the cell was lying vacant. The centre has now instructed the Arthur Road jail authorities to lodge Jundal in this cell," said a source in prisons department.

Intelligence reports indicate that there could be danger to Jundal's life if he is kept at the anda cell in Arthur Road jail. "An Indian Mujahideen terrorist and Delhi bomb blast suspect, Qateel Siddiqui, kept in an anda cell at Pune's Yerwada jail, was murdered by two gangsters. There were no CCTV cameras and the only camera attached outside the cell was non-operational. The jail authorities don't want to take any risk," the source said.

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