Verdict out, now where will Kasab be kept?

Posted by on May 6th, 2010 and filed under Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Mumbai, May 6 (IANS) After the historic judgment slapping death penalty on Pakistani jehadi Ajmal Amir Kasab for his role in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the focus now shifts to where will he be lodged next.

The Arthur Road Central (ARC) Jail where Kasab has been kept since the past 18 months is essentially a prison meant for undertrials.

Kasab was confined to Arthur Road Central as a special case though his stay there has proved to be a cause of immense hardships for the local population and even hit the implementation of some ongoing infrastructure projects in the vicinity, official sources said.

The ARC Jail is situated in one of the most highly congested and busy areas in south Mumbai.

In view of the urgent requirements for the trial in the Mumbai terror attacks, the ARC Jail was specifically chosen for Kasab’s stay during the rial period and also an airconditioned special court was created inside the premises.

‘In view of the requirements, the entire jail complex was made bomb attack-proof by reinforcing it with special materials, by the State Public Works Department,’ Principal Secretary (Home, in-charge of jails) Medha Gadgil told IANS.

Gadgil added that the government incurred an expenditure of Rs.5.20 crore on fortifying the ARC Jail to lodge its most infamous inmate till date and on creating the courtroom inside, But she declined to disclose further details.

According to official sources, the operation included creating cement-concrete walls capable of withstanding attacks by armoured vehicles, another wall of solid steel and other special materials that could also withstand bomb attacks.

Besides reinforcing the jail premise itself, expenditure was also incurred on the unprecedented special security measures organised at the jail over the past 18 months, and special security installations set-up like CCTV cameras and metal detectors.

Besides, a large number of security men were drawn from different forces, including the Mumbai Police, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the state police, which added to the costs.

By rough estimates, the state government has spent in the range of Rs.50 crore so far in keeping Kasab safe and secure at the ARC Jail.

Now that the trial is over and the judgment has been pronounced, the state government has to grapple with the question of whether to keep Kasab here or shift him to some other location in the state.

‘Given the sensitive nature of the matter, any other place would have to be as safe and secure as this jail, but the final decision will be taken by the state government in the next few weeks,’ the official said.

There is talk of shifting Kasab to a secure place like the Yerawada Jail in Pune, but no officials are wiling to confirm it till the state government decides to shift him.

Kasab may or may not remain at ARC Jail – but one person is surely happy to be free of his daily sojourn here.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, after the judgment, remarked in a lighter vein that now the case is over, he was ‘free from the Arthur Road Jail’.

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