Two officials from the Embassy of Portugal met convicted gangster Abu Salem at the Taloja jail on Tuesday morning. In a meeting that lasted for over three hours, the gangster told the officials about alleged brutality meted out to him. His major concerns, according to his lawyer, were about safety and hygiene.
Two Portuguese officials, along with the prison authorities and a CBI representative, met Salem and his lawyer Saba Qureshi. “The meeting was about Salem and his well being. He was asked if he was facing any issues inside the prison,” Qureshi said.
Salem is lodged in the Taloja prison. “He was asked a lot of questions. They were worried about his safety,” she said.
According to her, Salem is facing a lot of hardships behind bars. “He spoke about how he is facing mental and physical harassment. They were interested in knowing about the solitary cell in which he was lodged, and wanted to see it. But they weren’t allowed to,” said Qureshi.
The meeting was arranged after Salem had written to them regarding violations of his extradition treaty. “Salem complained to them about his food, and the non-availability of non-vegetarian food. He also spoke at length about the unhygienic conditions there,” Qureshi said.
“He spoke about how he is not allowed to call his lawyers but we are allowed to meet him. He also spoke about missing his family, who can’t come because the prison is far from the city,” Qureshi said.
The meeting was held at the administrative building of the Taloja jail premises and began at around 12.45 pm.
“I will not be able to comment on anything beyond that they had come to meet Abu Salem and we facilitated the meeting,” said Rajywardhan Sinha, DIG (Prisons) who refused to comment on the allegations made by Salem and his lawyers.
A special court had in February 2015 convicted Salem in connection with the murder of builder Pradeep Jain and in June 2017 he was convicted in the 1993 blast case. In both the offenses, Salem was sentenced to life. A Delhi Court recently convicted Salem in connection with trying to extort Rs 5 crore from a Delhi businessman in 2002. The court sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment.