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Kasab turns 22 today,but no cake in jail for him

Prisoners at Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail are allowed to celebrate their birthdays by ordering a 1 kg cake from a state jail bakery....

Written by Mustafa Plumber | Mumbai |
September 13, 2009 2:17:47 am

Prisoners at Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail are allowed to celebrate their birthdays by ordering a 1 kg cake from a state jail bakery. Sometimes,jail guards and other inmates are also allowed to join the revelry on humanitarian grounds since none of this is permitted under jail rules. But Ajmal Amir Kasab,the lone Pakistani terrorist captured alive during the 26/11 attack,will get none of these privileges when he turns 22 on Sunday.

Firstly,Kasab,who was born on September 13,1987,according to jail records,is a high-risk prisoner lodged in a special cell which was refurbished exclusively to house him. Secondly,he has no savings like other prisoners who can earn inside the jail by working and use the money to order a cake. Moreover,there is hardly any sentiment for him among jail guards and officials to want to wish him on his special day.

“Under the jail manual,there are no provisions for allowing any inmate or convict to celebrate his birthday in prison,” said Jail Superintendent Rajendra Dhamne. “However,in many cases,we,on humanitarian grounds,allow inmates to celebrate their birthdays with jail guards and other inmates. The inmate can order a 1 kg cake from the jail canteen,but he needs to order it well in advance.”

Four jails in Maharashtra — in Thane,Yerawada (Pune),Nashik and Nagpur — have in-house bakeries. “If the inmate places an order for a cake,we send the request to the Thane prison bakery from where it is delivered on the mentioned day,” said Dhamne,adding that the variety available is limited.

Abbas Kazmi,Kasab’s lawyer who has in the past bought Urdu books for his client,did not seem to be aware of Kasab turning 22. “I will have to check his birthday in my records. Even if it is his birthday on Sunday,it would not matter to me personally as birthdays are private affairs and Kasab is my client and doesn’t call for anything more than professional and legal support,” Kazmi said.

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