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India Dons Lead A Lavish Life Inside Mumbai Jail


Apr 4, 2005

Mumbai: Many underworld dons enjoy VIP treatment inside Mumbai's high-security Arthur Road Jail even though they have been charged with many heinous crimes.

Underworld don Abu Salem is an accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts and was extradited from Portugal in 2005. Salem was a Dawood Ibrahim gamng member but later on turned enemy.

Mustafa Dossa is also an accused in 1993 Bombay blasts and was extradited from Dubai in 2003. He is a trusted Dawood aide too.

Both the dons, lodged in Mumbai's high-security Arthur Road Jail, on Saturday got into a scuffle similar to ones seen several times in Hindi movies, which left Salem with gashes on his face.

Though both have been now shifted to separate jails, what has now come tumbling out of the jail's closet are the shocking details of the lavish lives of underworld dons behind bars.

"I saw that they had new cloths in their cells and the bathrooms that they use have new tiles and are very clean. The toilets look just like it is in a good hotel," says Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe.

The details with CNN-IBN are far more shocking. Seated in a jail a don can just about get anything for a price 5-10 times the market rate. Some underworld dons possess three-four mobile phones with numerous SIM cards and Rs 10,000 is the minimum monthly maintenance cost per mobile phone and SIM cards are hidden inside the jail premises. Separate mobiles are used for talking to their bosses, subordinates and family.

A pack of cigarettes comes for Rs 200 and that of a bidi for Rs 25 while a toothpaste costing Rs 25 outside is available for Rs 300. Raw chicken is available for Rs 500. Some even cook their food on gas stoves inside the jail and a bottle of liquor is for Rs 2000. Contraband drugs like charas are available for Rs 1000.

Sources have told CNN-IBN us that while the underworld dons spend Rs 5-6 lakh a month to lead a lavish jail life, other petty criminals struggle to get even the basic facilities. While the smuggling of all the articles takes place during the night, the jail authorities say they are terribly under-staffed to curb these activities and the jails are over crowded.

Arthur Road Jail can hold upto 804 inmates but over 2100 inmates are lodged right now and the figure even touches 2400 at times. The total jail staff is a mere 250 when it should be at least 750

Due to the severe manpower crunch and corruption dreaded underworld dons can smuggle into the jail whatever they want and even manage their crime syndicate from right inside the jail. What's even more alarming is that high-value convict involved in November 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Ajmal Amir Kasab is also lodged in the Arthur Road Jail.

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Sat Sri Akaal,

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