Petition to send Abu Salem back to Portugal is pending with the Supreme Court

A day after former underworld don Abu Salem was shot at inside Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai, the State government ordered a high-level probe into the attack and suspended a jail officer and three constables after initial inquiry.

Additional Director General of Police (Prison) Meeran Borwankar on Friday inspected the jail premises. “Prima facie there has been negligence on part of jail authorities. The accused was not checked properly at the time of entering the jail and later while entering the high security zone of the prison,” she told reporters outside the jail.

Jailer Sanjay Sable, constables Chandrakant Pathare, Nitin Sawant and Gitesh Randive were suspended after the inquiry indicated negligence on their part. All four will remain suspended till the inquiry is completed. An attempt to murder case has been registered against Devendra Jagtap alias JD, a member of Bharat Nepali gang and an accused in the murder of advocate Shahid Azmi.

According to police officials, Jagtap fired two rounds at Salem from a gun that was smuggled inside the prison premises due to negligence of officers at the prison gate. Both the rounds were aimed at his face with an intention to kill him. Salem, sensing the attack, ducked and put his hand in front of the gun. So the bullet brushed his hand,” said a senior officer of Navi Mumbai police. He was immediately taken to the government hospital in Vashi in Navi Mumbai.

Home Minister R.R. Patil made it clear that guilty officers won’t be spared. “We have taken this matter seriously. Action will be taken as soon as we receive the inquiry report. Responsibility for the incident will be fixed and stringent action, including dismissal from service, will be taken against those found guilty,” he said.

Salem’s lawyer Saba Qureishi told The Hindu that she would file a special application in TADA court here asking to shift other gangsters from the Taloja prison. “We have always maintained that Salem’s life is in danger and due to increased number of gangsters from other gangs inside the Taloja prison, the threat has increased. Additional security should be provided to him and other gangsters should be shifted to other prisons,” she said, adding that as per her knowledge there was no altercation in the past between Salem and Jagtap.

“Salem was extradited to India from Portugal on a condition that his life would be protected. The condition has been violated yet again. Our petition to send him back to Portugal is already pending with the Supreme Court. We expect the court to take a decision on it soon,” she said.

Thursday’s attack on Salem is the second attempt to kill him. In 2010, Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Mustafa Dossa attacked him in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.

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Abu Salem attacked in Taloja prisonJune 28, 2013