Jail security reviewed on eve of Mumbai terror attack trial

April 14th, 2009 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 14 (IANS) Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Naseem Khan inspected the premises of the high-security Arthur Road Central Jail Tuesday evening, hours before the Mumbai terror attack trial opens.
Accompanied by a high-level team of police and civil officials, Khan went around the jail complex which also houses the newly constructed Special Court, a police official said.

Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani will preside over the trial - scheduled to start Wednesday - of arrested Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab and two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) activists, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Mohammed.

Shortly afterwards, Khan told IANS that he had carried out the review of the jail and the courtroom premises inside and expressed satisfaction with the security and arrangements for the much-awaited trial made there.

“Our intention is to ensure that the trial proceeds without further delays and the outcome is known in the shortest possible time,” Khan added.

The main accused, Kasab, Fahim and Sabahuddin, are currently lodged in the jail complex in separate cells, where extra security measures have been taken and put under 24×7 electronic surveillance.

The entire complex - situated in the heart of the congested south Mumbai - is guarded by a three-tier security network consisting of Mumbai Police, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the jail’s own security.

Khan told journalists that the intention of his visit was to ensure that people living in the locality were not inconvenienced on account of the high-profile trial.

Kasab is expected to be presented before the special judge for the first time since Tahilyani took over the case. Until now, Kasab and Tahilyani have been communicating through vide-conferencing.

At the trial, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam will lead the prosecution case while court-appointed government lawyer Anjali Waghmare will appear on behalf of Kasab.

Nikam told IANS that certain pending formalities will be completed Wednesday by the court, which will then decide the date for the commencement of the day-to-day hearings in the matter.

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