Safety audit of jails on after Qateel murder
A safety audit is currently underway at prisons in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region following the murder of alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Qateel Siddiqui — an accused in the New Delhi Jama Masjid firing and the Bangalore Chinnaswamy blast cases — at Pune's Yerawada jail last week. Prisons department officers said inmates were being shifted within jails, and those lodged in prisons were being asked if they felt a threat to their life. Sources said those who felt their lives were in danger were being moved to separate cells.
The safety audit was conducted at Arthur Road jail on Monday and at Navi Mumbai's Taloja jail on Tuesday. While Arthur Road jail lodges 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab, the Taloja jail houses gangsters Abu Salem, Arun Gawli, D K Rao and others. The audit will also be conducted in Thane jail on Wednesday, said sources. Kasab is in solitary confinement in a high security enclosure with CCTV cameras monitoring his every move. Salem, Gawli and Rao, too, are lodged in high security cells.
Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Surendra Kumar said there was security had been tightened at prisons following the Pune incident. "We have been taking measures to ensure that there is no repeat of the Pune incident in Mumbai. We are taking inmates into confidence and asking them if they sense any danger to their lives. We are also conducting our own assessment, categorising inmates and rearranging them in different cells within prisons," said Kumar.
Sources said prison officials were also conducting background checks of inmates. "For some inmates, it is imperative to know who their associates and enemies are. We are doing this to ensure that persons who are known to be enemies are not lodged in the same or nearby cells," said a prison official.
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