Maharashtra Home Minister expresses concern over attack on Abu Salem

Mumbai/New Delhi/Kochi, June 28 (ANI): Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil on Friday said the attack on gangster Abu Salem was a matter of high concern, and added that stringent action would be taken against those under whom such an incident occurred.

"We haven't called any meeting on this issue, but we will look into it after we get the report. Additional Director General is enquiring the matter. As soon as the enquiry report comes, we will think about the punishment to be given to those responsible for it. We will not tolerate such people at the job," he told the media in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, former Delhi Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta said criminals like Abu Salem, who had been previously involved in hardcore crimes, usually became the target of other prisoners.

"These kinds of high profile prisoners, who have such track record, are definitely put under security. They very often become the target of gang war. As they sow, so shall they reap. So they are more vulnerable to such attacks. So, there should be strict arrangements for such people," he told the media in New Delhi.

Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi on her part said that these attacks were not unusual in Indian prisons.

"You have to have your sensing systems; even video cameras. So, those cameras should be there, we need to use technology to keep surveillance. So, I am sure this will be inquired into because after all, this is not to be done. This should not happen. One, it should not happen. Second, what kind of security systems are there to prevent it. Third , as I told you, situations like these can emerge in Indian prisons; because there are compound assembly timings in all Indian prisons as a culture and as a practice," she told the media in Kochi.

One jail officer and three policemen, who have been found guilty in a preliminary enquiry, have been suspended from duty. The Maharashtra Government has ordered a high-level probe into the attack.

Salem, who was shot at by another inmate yesterday, is back at Mumbai's Taloja Jail after being kept overnight in a hospital. His attacker, a man called Devendra Jagtap, shot him in the hand with a country-made revolver.

Salem was arrested in Lisbon in 2002 along with his girlfriend, actor Monica Bedi, for travelling with fake passports. He was extradited from Portugal three years later for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, which left 257 dead and 713 injured. (ANI)

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