Iqbal Kaskar being mistreated in Thane prison, alleges lawyer

Says jail superintendent denying him home-cooked meals, medical treatment

Fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar is being mistreated at Thane Central Jail, his lawyer alleged on Saturday. Mr. Kaskar has been lodged in the jail since the Thane Police Crime Branch’s Anti Extortion Cell arrested him in January last year for extorting money from builders and businessmen in Thane.

He was charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which makes it difficult for an accused to secure bail. Advocate Vishal Hingole, Mr. Kaskar’s counsel, said his client has been suffering from multiple ailments such as diabetes and swollen legs.

‘Contempt of court’

Mr. Hingole said, “We had filed an application in the Thane court, which ordered that my client be taken for a medical examination to a government hospital like JJ Hospital. However, the jail superintendent refused to comply with the order and said he did not have enough guards to escort Mr. Kaskar.”

He alleged that despite the court granting permission, Mr. Kaskar was not being provided with home-cooked meals. Mr. Hingole said. “The superintendent refused to meet us when we tried to take up the matter with him. We have sought action against him for contempt of court. Given his deteriorating health, Mr. Kaskar requires home-cooked food, especially during Ramzan.”

However, Superintendent Nitin Vayachal said he did not commit contempt of court as a MCOCA court had struck down the order issued by a lower court. Mr. Vayachal said, “We have several inmates observing roza [fast]. They are being provided with fresh fruits, nuts and cooked food when they break their fast. Mr. Kaskar is not even observing roza. We cannot provide home-cooked food to one person just because he is Dawood Ibrahim’s brother.”

To allegations of Mr. Kaskar not being taken for medical treatment, Mr. Vayachal said most of their personnel had been deployed to provide security during the Lok Sabha elections and Mr. Kaskar underwent routine medical check-ups in prison. He said, “We will challenge any contempt notice we get in the higher courts.”

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