Gangster Abu Salem’s request seeking that he be transferred to a prison in Uttar Pradesh has been rejected by the Maharashtra prison authorities. Salem, convicted in June for his role in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, had written to the Maharashtra prison authorities in September, seeking to be transferred. Salem continues to be lodged at the Taloja central jail in Navi Mumbai.
Early in December, a letter signed by Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay was sent to the Taloja jail, informing the authorities that Salem’s request cannot be accepted. It states that as Salem’s appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court, he will continue to remain in a prison within the state. It states that as per the Maharashtra Prison Manual 1979, under the non-statutory rules under the provisions for Removal of Prisoners, such a request cannot be permitted. “The request was rejected as his appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court,” said Upadhyay.
Salem was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the serial blasts in Mumbai in March 1993 that had claimed 257 lives. He is also serving life term for the murder of city builder Pradeep Jain. As a convict, Salem can be lodged in any of the central prisons in the state. In an application Salem had made to prison authorities including the ADG, Inspector General of Police and the Superintendent of Taloja jail, he had claimed as he is a native of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, none of his relatives are able to meet him in Maharashtra.
“I will be highly grateful if I am allowed to be transferred to a prison there where it will be easy and convenient for my family members to come and meet me and even to coordinate with me regarding my legal matters and to have contact with my lawyers,” Salem said in his plea. After the completion of the 1993 trial in September, Salem claimed he had no case pending in Maharashtra.
For his other cases pending in Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal and Hyderabad, it would be “convenient” for him to be produced from a prison in UP, he had said. Further, Salem had also mentioned the attacks on him in jail, including being shot at inside the Taloja jail in 2013, and referred to the assurances made to Portugal during his extradition proceedings in 2005.