American Centre attack mastermind alleges threat to life in prison

Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami member Aftab Ansari has written to the prison authorities seeking transfer to a different block alleging that a ‘mentally-challenged’ inmate has issued life threats to him.

Published: 22nd February 2018 07:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2018 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

American Centre attack mastermind Aftab Ansari. | EPS

Express News Service

KOLKATA: American Centre attack mastermind and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) member Aftab Ansari alias Farhan Malik, who is serving life sentence at Alipore Correctional Home in Kolkata for the 2002 attack that killed five people and injured 20, has written to the prison authorities seeking transfer to a different block alleging that a ‘mentally-challenged’ inmate has issued life threats to him.

“My life is in danger due to mentally-ill prisoner Indranil Bhattacharya. I do not want to live with him in cell block 1. Kindly shift me to any other cell block. If any untoward incident occurs, this correctional home’s authorities will be responsible for it,” the letter written on February 17 read.

Besides him, the terror operative alleged that Bhattacharya had also threatened to kill another death sentence convict Saiful Ali. “Under-trial prisoner Indranil Bhattacharya threatened to kill me and Saiful Ali saying ‘I will kill you like your life partner’. He said he is mentally-ill and does not care about cases pending against him,” the letter added.

The letter also mentions that Happy Singh, Ansari’s co-accused in abduction of shoe baron Partha Roy Burman in 2001, was murdered inside Presidency Prison by inmate Nizamuddin who smashed his head with a brick in May 2014.

Bhattacharya lives in cell number 3 whereas Ansari lives in cell number 2. Generally, death sentence and life sentence awarded convicts are kept in the high security block. The letter was submitted to the prison authorities on February 20, who said they will forward it to the higher authorities.

Four police constables and a private security guard were killed and over 20 people were injured when two motorbike-borne assailants opened fire on the American Centre security staff on January 22, 2002. Ansari, who was nabbed the next day from Dubai was found in possession of a Pakistani passport issued in Lahore in the name of Shafiq Mohammad Rana. He had owned responsibility of the attack saying it was a protest against the ‘evil empire of America’.

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