Attack on Abu Salem triggers concerns about Kasab

Last Updated: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 20:21

Mumbai: Underworld don Abu Salem was on Saturday severely injured in an attack by an estranged comrade and
co-accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts inside the Arthur Road
Jail, raising concerns about the safety of high-risk prisoners
including 26/11 Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab.

"Salem was attacked by Mohammed Mustafa Dossa and his
associate with a sharp spoon. Salem sustained injuries,"
Additional Police Commissioner Vineet Agrawal said.

An FIR against Dossa and his accomplice was registered
under Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous
weapons or means) and further probe was on, he said.

According to police sources, the two had a heated argument
over supremacy in the underworld during breakfast following
which Dossa took out a sharp spoon and along with an aide
attacked Salem, injuring him seriously.

Salem, who received injuries on his head, neck and
shoulders, was profusely bleeding when the cops reached the
spot near barrack No 10 where Salem and Dossa are housed along
with scores of other prisoners.

42-year-old Salem, a key accused in the 1993 serial bomb
blasts, has been lodged in the South Mumbai jail since his
extradition from Portugal in 2005. He is facing trial in nine
cases, including two murders.

The attack on Salem has left the authorities worried as
Kasab, awarded death penalty by the anti-terror court three
months ago in the 26/11 case, is lodged in the same jail.

The issue had its echo in the Legislative Assembly where
leader of the opposition Eknath Khadse demanded that the
government give details of the incident and inform the House
about steps taken for ensuring the safety of prisoners as
Kasab was also housed there.

Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the government
would make a detailed statement in the House after obtaining
necessary information.

Later, Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe reviewed
security arrangements at the Arthur Road Jail with top prison
authorities.

Dossa, an important member of the gang led by fugitive
underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the blast mastermind, was
deported from Dubai in March 2003. Dossa was alleged to have
supervised the landing of weapons and explosives in
Maharashtra`s Raigad district prior to the explosions on March
12, 1993, which left 257 people dead and 574 injured.

Besides the 1993 serial blasts, Salem and Dossa are facing
trial in several other cases.

Meanwhile, Salem`s lawyer Raja Thakur has said he would be
shifted to hospital for treatment.

"We have got an order from the Sessions Court allowing my
client to be admitted to the civic-run J J Hospital for
treatment," Thakur said.

"A doctor from J J hospital was called soon after the
incident. Since we have got the order, Salem would be taken to
the hospital under police escort at an appropriate time," he
said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 20:21

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