Alipore Jail inmates are refusing to be lodged next to the suspected Islamic State (IS) terrorist who had attacked a senior warder on Sunday, said jail officials.
Md Mosiuddin alias Musa, who was arrested last year, had allegedly tried to kill the warder using an “improvised knife” made with a piece of metal while chanting slogans, an attack he claimed to have been plotting for a while as part of his “jehad”.
After the incident, Musa was shifted to cell block number 1, next to Aftab Ansari, convicted for the 2002 attack on the American Centre in Kolkata. Jail officials said Ansari has objected to Musa being placed in the same cell block.
“We have to keep him here. But none of the inmates want to be near him. He is a high profile prisoner and has to be kept inside a cell in a cell block. But other inmates and unhappy and are raising objections. Many are saying that he is a fanatic and can harm them too,” said a senior official from Alipore central jail.
Musa was in solitary confinement, lodged in room no. 2 of cell block no. 13 inside the high-security prison. The warder he attacked, Govindo Chandra Dey (45), had been engaged specially for him. “He was already kept in a solitary cell when he assaulted the warder. We have removed him from there and placed him in cell block no. 1. Aftab Ansari is kept in the same cell block. He has raised objections saying that placing Musa near him would disturb him. He communicated his objections verbally to us,” the official added.
Meanwhile, sources said that Muhammed Noor and Muhammed Ishaq, who are accused in the 2001 shoe baron Partha Roy Burban abduction case, had fought Musa and saved the life of the warder.
According to jail authorities, the duo, who were in the same cell block no. 13, allegedly heard Musa chanting slogans and rushed out to see the warder in a pool of blood, with Musa trying to slit his throat. A fight ensued, after which they overpowered Musa. They also raised an alarm, following which warders, sepoys and officers reached the spot. “Had it not been for the other two high profile inmates in nearby cells, the warder would have lost his life on the spot. They overpowered him after a jostle,” said another jail official.
Following the incident, security has been tightened within the jail premises, with two warders and a sepoy keeping watch on Musa round the clock. The terror suspect’s movement is restricted for the time being and he is not allowed to move around inside the jail.
Authorities are also looking into how Musa got his hands on the “improvised knife” and whether he has “indoctrinated” others in the jail. The state jail department has initiated an inquiry over the incident, while Kolkata Police have started probing the assault case.
Musa was arrested from the Viswabharati Fast passenger train in Burdwan in July 2016, while he was travelling to his home in Birbhum district. Later, the NIA in its chargesheet said he had planned to carry out IS-style attacks across the state, and “lone wolf” attacks on foreign tourists near the Mother Teresa House in Kolkata.