Following the escape of alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Afzal Usmani, the prison authorities have taken a major step to ensure no other IM operative gets an opportunity to flee.
The prison department on Tuesday shifted 16 members of the banned outfit from Taloja prison to Arthur Road jail.
Usmani was caught a month after his escape by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Baharaich in Uttar Pradesh when he was trying to flee to Nepal.
According to a prison department official, a decision has been taken that the special 26/11 court built within the Arthur Road jail premises will now conduct the trial of the IM members who were caught in a nationwide crackdown by the Mumbai crime branch in 2008.
“The move was made as the IM members were regularly taken to the sessions court at Colaba for their trial hearings and Usmani’s escape from the court premises could only have motivated others to make a similar attempt in future. Now, with their hearings to take place within Arthur Road jail, they won’t be taken out of the prison and, hence, there won’t be any possibility of them attempting escape,” said a prison source.
“The inmates were shifted from Taloja to Arthur Road on Tuesday as their hearing will start soon.
We have made a group of three to four inmates and have been keeping them in different barracks so that they can’t gather in one place” said superintendent of Arthur Road jail BD Burkule.
“We have increased the security round the clock outside the barrack where the IM members have been kept. We are taking all the precautions necessary to insure their safety and also that of the other inmates who are in the same barrack.”