The shifting of Mohammed Ansari, the second accused and a convict prisoner in the Coimbatore serial blast case to the Puzhal Central Prison 1 on Saturday caused commotion.
Mohammed Ansari son of Mohideen Sheik, a life term convict in the Coimbatore serial blasts case was in the Coimbatore Central Prison as an undertrial and convict prisoner. He was shifted by the prison authorities to Puzhal early in the morning. The family members of Mohammed Ansari on Saturday visited the Collectorate and presented a petition stating “the shifting was unnecessary and vindictive in nature”.
The petition also stated that Ansari’s wife and three children would have problems in frequently visiting him at the Puzhal Central Prison because of the distance and time required for travelling all the way to Chennai. Ansari is a diabetic and a cardiac patient, the petition said. They expressed difficulty in meeting him often, sought his transfer back to the Coimbatore Central Prison. The petitioners also contended that the decision to shift him was purely because of the attitude of two prison officials. Meanwhile, another murder case accused and Hindu activist Poori Kamal was shifted to the Vellore Central Prison.
Prison sources said that the “administrative decision” to shift these prisoners was purely taken on the basis of the powers conferred to the officials under the jail manual. Sources also added that the shifted prisoners were found to be responsible for causing unrest within the prison as well as outside, hence the decision to shift Ansari and Poori Kamal. In the event of a prisoner failing to ensure good conduct during the trial or sentence period, prison manual empowers officials to shift the prisoner to other prisons, besides actions such as cut in remission of sentence period, panel diet (restrictions), denial of permission for visitors, restrictions on personal provisions and books, cellular confinement besides handcuffing.
As a result of the incident, police deployment was done in large numbers both in front of the Collectorate and in front of the Coimbatore Central Prison as a matter of precaution.