Pune-based farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, arrested on charges of stashing away billions of dollars in foreign banks and tax evasion, has been lodged in the high security “anda cell”, making him the second most secured inmate in the Arthur Road jail after Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab.
Mr. Khan has been lodged in the “anda cell” as he claimed to have been facing death threats and also receiving threats from Kolkata businessman Kashinath Tapuria, a co-accused arrested in the money laundering case, jail sources said on Thursday.
On confining Mr. Khan in the special cell, Inspector General (Prisons) Surinder Kumar said, “Assessing the seriousness of the threat Khan is facing, he was put in this special cell. Khan is not being allowed to mingle with other inmates and as per the court orders, he is getting home-made food.”
Mr. Khan was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court. For seven days, Mr. Khan was in ED custody and then shifted to the Arthur Road jail.
In March last week, Mr. Khan alleged he was getting threats from Mr. Tapuria.
“Khan is facing serious criminal charges and we do not want to take any risk when it comes to his security,” Mr. Surinder added.
On March 29, the Supreme Court had directed the Central and the Maharashtra governments to provide adequate protection to Mr. Khan and his family.
“After Kasab’s security, Khan’s protection is our priority,” the official added.
In July last year, Abu Salem, extradited from Portugal five years ago to face trial, was injured in an alleged attack by Mustafa Dossa, a close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, in the jail.
After the assault, Salem was shifted to the Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai, while Dossa was moved to the Thane Central Prison.
In September last year, Salem’s aide Mohammed Mehndi Hassan, an under trial in the 1995 murder of builder Pradeep Jain, suffered injuries after allegedly being attacked by a sharp-edged weapon in the jail.