M A I N   N E W S

Usmani effect: Mumbai cops to handcuff criminals in court
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, September 28
After Afzal Usmani, an alleged member of the Indian Mujahideen, escaped from a city court last week, the Mumbai police has decided to handcuff criminals with serious charges against them when they are taken to court.

Under the law, the police escorts are to seek permission from the judge to handcuff the accused in their custody. Police officials in Maharashtra have asked police personnel to obtain permission from judges as far as possible to handcuff those charged with serious crimes so that they do not escape, sources said.

Following the decision taken by senior police officials, the four adult men accused of gang-raping a photo-journalist at Mumbai's Shakti Mills compound were handcuffed while they were produced before the court on Friday.

The four, Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman Khan, were produced before the court on Friday. Incidentally, there was some confusion that Khan may have escaped from custody earlier this week.

However, he was found to be inside the Thane central jail. Following Usmani's escape, Mumbai's police commissioner has issued an advisory stating that police personnel escorting accused to court be changed frequently so that no rapport is established between them.

The police say the accused and the policemen escorting them usually develop a rapport which even result in both sharing their food during court lunch break.

The policemen also allow the accused to meet their relatives in violation of the rules during these visits.

Other security procedures include checking of bathrooms in the court premises to ensure that the accused do not escape on the pretext of going to the toilet, say sources.





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