Hyderabad: A local court on Thursday sought a report from prison authorities here on a petition by jailed Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, demanding round-the- clock surveillance while alleging threat to his life from police.
In a petition filed before special court for NIA cases, Bhatkal and four others accused in the February 21, 2013 Dilsukhnagar blasts here, who are lodged in the Cherlapalli Central Prison, had sought a direction to the jail authorities to install CCTV cameras in the high-security cell to maintain round-the-clock surveillance on them.
Accordingly, the court today called for a report from jail authorities and posted the matter for further hearing on July 14. The court also adjourned the matter pertaining to framing of charges in the case to the same date.
Bhatkal alias Mohammed Ahmed Siddibapa, Asadullah Akhtar, Tahaseen Akhtar, Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas and Aizaz Saeed Shaik appeared before the court amid heavy security. Media was not allowed inside the court hall.
In their petition, Bhatkal and others had alleged, "Almost all of the jail premises is equipped with CCTV cameras except the high-security cell in which we are lodged. CCTV cameras were not installed intentionally by the jail authorities to facilitate in creating false, fabricated and imaginary stories."
They further alleged that they "apprehended great and immediate threat to their lives from the jail authorities and escort people, who are working under the direct influence and control of NIA."
In view of the "threat to their lives, the CCTV camera surveillance/coverage of their daily lives and movements are very much essential to avoid any foul play by the authorities. Hence, the court may be pleased to direct jail authorities to keep the petitioners in CCTV surveillance for 24 hours in the jail as well as on the way to production of petitioners before the court," the petitioners submitted.
The petitioners also alleged they were confined to the small cell round-the-clock without proper food, fresh air and sunlight because of which they were suffering from ailments.
Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in the deadly twin explosions that were triggered by powerful IEDs planted in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city.
There were newspaper reports last week that Bhatkal called up his wife using a cellphone from inside the jail and told her that he would get out of the jail soon with help from "friends from Damascus," in an apparent reference to the jihadists of ISIS.