26/11 Judge Gets Special Security Cover
MUMBAI, 3 Mar 2009 :
Unwilling to take any chances with the 26/11 terror attacks case trial, the Mumbai police have beefed up the security cover for special
judge M L Tahiliyani who will be hearing the matter.
Sources have told TOI that Tahiliyani has been given a 24x7 security detail by the special protection unit of Mumbai police. It consists of plainclothes security personnel armed with automatic weapons and an escort vehicle that will follow Tahiliyani wherever he goes. The policemen will not only stand guard around the judge on the court premises, but also his residence.
Given the high-threat perception surrounding the trial of the lone arrested Pakistani gunman Ajmal Amir Kasab, security agencies have been taking various steps to ensure that the trial is conducted smoothly. Fears have been expressed by Indian agencies that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI may try to jeopardise Kasab's trial by getting underworld elements in Mumbai to attack him.
The Bombay high court has already given permission for setting up a special court within the Arthur Road Jail premises so that Kasab does not have to be brought out into the open to a regular court for hearings. Kasab has been held in solitary confinement in a special cell that can withstand even grenade attacks.
Last time a judge received such security for handling a sensitive case was when designated Tada judge P D Kode--who heard the 1993 serial blasts case within the Arthur Road Jail premises--was given a Z Plus security cover. It consisted of pilot and escort vehicles carrying gun-toting cops and a bulletproof car for Kode.
Police have already filed a chargesheet against Kasab and on March 9 a magistrate is likely to send the case for trial to the special court in jail. Regular hearings before the judge will then follow.