He may be on the front pages of the newspapers,but the lone surviving terrorist arrested for the 26/11 attacks,Ajmal Amir Kasab,has been unable to read newspapers in custody. He told the court on Monday that he cannot afford to buy newspapers.
Kasabs request for newspapers before the special sessions judge M L Tahilyani,is a request for basic facilities given to every undertrial under the prison manual. However,the condition is that the inmate pays for the facility from his own pocket.
Kasab,a Pakistani national,has been in solitary confinement inside the high-security anda cell since February. Jail sources said Kasab has nothing to do throughout the day apart from scanning the over 11,000-page chargesheet,which is kept inside his cell. No one is allowed to talk to him.
Many other inmates have signed up for daily delivery of various newspapers,which are given to them every morning in their cell by jail authorities. However,the service is withdrawn once the inmate stops the payment or is shifted to another prison. In the case of Kasab,he wont be able to afford the newspapers as he does not have any relatives (the normal source of money for inmates) in India.
The cash Kasab had on his person,over Rs 4,000,was seized at the time of is arrest by the police. Thus,as of now,he will have to be content with his chargesheet for reading or access the prison library where there are different types of books,which he can go through.
Jail sources said Kasab also doesnt have access to the canteen as he doesnt have money to purchase the token using which he can get food from the prison canteen. A senior jail official said,Other basic amenities like toiletries,food as listed in the prison manual will be available to him.
What he can get
As per prison manual,Kasab can get inside Arthur Road Jail:
Newspapers At own cost
Home Food At own cost
Clothes At his own cost
Toiletries State provides a soap for washing clothes and a soap for bathing,a coconut hair oil bottle every week. Extra toiletries if required can be purchased from the canteen or brought from outside
Access to jail library When the inmate wants