Sunday, June 9, 2013

Don’t take Jundal to courts: Govt

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Fearing attacks on 26/11 key conspirator Abu Jundal, the state has issued a government resolution (GR) asking authorities concerned not to take him out of Arthur Road jail to the special court for trial.
   
 Zabihuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal (33) was deported from Saudi Arabia in June last year. He is booked in at least eight cases related to terror attacks and conspiracies across the country. “Jundal’s kidnapping while being transferred from jail to court or vice versa cannot be ruled out. Moreover, an assassination plan by rival group(s) cannot be ruled out either,” states the two-page GR. The government has asked the Mumbai police, the anti-terrorism squad, the prison authorities and the local arms unit to continue Jundal’s trial through videoconferencing till it is possible.
   
 “Do not take him to court unless it’s very necessary. If he has to be taken to court, make sure all safety precautions and standard operating procedures are followed,” a senior home department official is learnt to have instructed the police. Jundal’s personal appearance in court has been excluded due to these reasons, a Mumbai police officer told TOI.
   
 It is learnt that Arthur Road jail authorities want Jundal to be shifted to Tihar jail in Delhi, as they do not want any trouble. In June last year, a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative, Qateel Siddiqui, was murdered in Pune’s Yerawada jail. In May this year, a Pakistani convict, Sanaullah Ranjay, was beaten up in a Jammu & Kashmir jail. Ranjay later died of injuries. 

    In April, prison authorities had informed the MCOCA court that they were thinking of
shifting Jundal to Taloja jail. This was after Jundal threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike as he wanted to be shifted to a barrack that is not isolated. However, on May 18, the court rejected Jundal’s plea to transfer him to another barrack/jail after the prison authorities filed a report in the court stating that Jundal’s mental condition was normal.
 
    “We filed the application as Jundal was hallucinating in his isolated cell, where Kasab had been lodged before he was hanged,” Jundal’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi had said earlier. Jundal is now lodged in the same 10x10 ft cell. The cell has an attached toilet and bathroom. There is no calendar in the cell. Jundal is not allowed to meet other prisoners.
 
Tight security at city’s Jewish establishments 
 Security at the Israeli consulate and all synagogues has been enhanced. Madhukar Pandey, additional commissioner of police (security and protection), confirmed the development. “We have posted armed guards, bullet-proof cars and personnel. We don’t know of any threat and are following orders,” an official said. 
 
The Times of India, June 9, 2013

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