Abu Salem's dramatic claim: 'Jailer pushing me to suicide'

In a 16-page affidavit, submitted in the TADA court, the gangster alleges that the new superintendent at Taloja Jail, Hiralal Jadhav, has been finding innovative means - like strip searching him and posting two constables to watch him at all times - to ensure that he either goes mad or commits suicide due to the pressure

Gangster Abu Salem, who had made life hell for several Bollywood and other prominent personalities through extortion calls and firings, is allegedly facing a tough time inside Taloja Jail.

Abu Salem
Abu Salem

In a 16-page affidavit, submitted in the TADA court on Friday, the 40-year-old, who is being tried for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts and was used to a lavish lifestyle in exile, has said that the new Jail Superintendent, Hiralal Jadhav, has been finding innovative ways to torture him to ensure that he either goes mad or commits suicide due to the pressure.

 Salem also claimed that  the Jail Superintendent, Hiralal Jadhav, does not allow him to wear civil clothes during his visit to courts and the hospital. File pic for representation
Salem also claimed that the Jail Superintendent, Hiralal Jadhav, does not allow him to wear civil clothes during his visit to courts and the hospital. File pic for representation

According to the affidavit, Salem is allegedly being strip searched, prevented from going to hospital and kept under the watch of two constables, who have allegedly been asked to maintain eye contact with him at all times to ensure that he feels he is constantly under pressure. This is even preventing him from being able to relieve himself.

Jadhav, according to Salem, is doing all this to ensure that he gets noticed by his seniors and gets promotions.

Salem told the court that he has been asked to strip by the superintendent in the name of conducting a personal search. The superintendent, during a search of his barrack, found ‘My Name is Abu Salem’, a book on the gangster’s life by S Hussain Zaidi.

The superintendent picked up the book and allegedly told Salem: “Tu kitabi don hai, magar main toh asal ka don hoon. Tera woh haal karunga ki tu pagal ho jayega ya toh suicide kar lega pareshan ho kar. Isiliye do hawaldar maine tere cell mein rakhe hai taki tu hamesha pressure mein rahe aur ek din khud hi suicide kar le. Maine tere liye hi Mantralaya se special order par yahan aaya hoon.” (You may be a don on paper but I am the real don. I will make your life so difficult that you will end up either going mad or committing suicide. I have also kept two constables in your cell to keep you under pressure so that you commit suicide one day. I have come here only for you after obtaining special orders from Mantralaya.)

Constant watch
Salem alleged that the superintendent had recently deployed two constables to stay outside his cell around the clock. Salem says that he is unable to relieve himself etc, which is creating a lot of trouble for him. The constables constantly keep looking at Salem’s face, which he finds very disturbing. He said it is also creating uneasiness and pressure in his mind as they keep looking at him for no reason.

Salem says that if the constables are kept for his security, then looking at his face continuously won’t achieve that. Instead, they should look at all the corners of the cell. He claimed the jail authorities have instructed the two constables to continuously maintain eye contact with him in order to irritate him.

Salem alleged that the superintendent has also instructed the two constables to read newspapers in the night and to keep shifting the chairs so that the noise from the turning of the pages and the movement of the chairs keeps him up the whole night. Salem says this action of Jadhav’s has had a profound effect on his mind. He has said that adequate sleep is important for everyone, but he is not even being allowed that.

Jadhav has allegedly also threatened that he is planning to install a camera in Salem’s cell so that he can keep watch on him all the time from his office as that would be the best way to torture him.

The gangster claimed that he is not allowed to eat food peacefully even for a minute and because of this he can’t concentrate on his case nor can he read anything.

No hospital visits
The Mumbai blasts accused, who claims to be suffering from various ailments for a long time, also says that he is not being sent to the hospital for treatment. In the past, Salem had suffered an attack on his life and had suffered grievous injury. Since then, he is being treated at JJ hospital by a particular doctor. Salem also talks about a dental problem for which he is getting treated at the hospital.

Salem said he has been kept in solitary confinement, which can cause depression. Contending that there is no one to talk to, which makes him feel lonely, he has said in the affidavit that at least two prisoners of the superintendent’s choice should be kept in his barrack so that he will have someone to talk to throughout the day.

The gangster also claimed that Jadhav is not allowing him to wear civil clothes during his visit to courts and the hospital. He keeps harassing Salem when he wears civil clothes.

Promotion
The superintendent also allegedly told him that he wants to show the world that people like Abu Salem are made to “eat the dust”, and when seniors notice this he may get promotions.

Salem claimed that he apprehends there will be some attack on his life by jail authorities and that if such an incident happens where he dies or suffers some injury, then the jail authorities, superintendent Jadhav and the Anda cell in-charge would be solely responsible for his death or injuries.

Jadhav, Salem claimed, has been transferred many times because of his unruly behaviour. Salem said the superintendent has also instructed jail authorities not to inform him about receipt of warrants for him being produced in other courts where his cases are going on.

This, he claimed, is being done so that his matters remain pending and he is kept in the jail forever.

When mid-day tried to contact jail officials, they were unavailable for comment.

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