In 2003, convicted gangster Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal after persistent efforts from the government.
Two members of the Portuguese Embassy along with officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) visited the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai to check on the overall conditions and facilities provided to convicted gangster Abu Salem.
He had sent numerous complaints to Lisbon in the last few years, over violation of clauses mentioned in the extradition treaty. Salem was extradited from Portugal in 2003 along with then partner Monica Bedi.
Salem has complained about the lengthy prison term awarded to him, which he says is a violation of the extradition conditions. He had also moved the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to cancel his extradition to India saying that his conviction in the 1993 blasts case was a breach of his extradition treaty. He had raised questions on the verdicts of the TADA court which had sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
As per a Hindustan Times report, the team from Portugal and CBI officials met with Salem on June 12, at 11.45 am. Over the next two hours, they recorded Salem’s statement in the presence of the Inspector General of Prisons Rajvardhan Sinha, Superintendent of Taloja Jail Sadanand Gaikwad, and Salem’s lawyer Saba Qureshi.
Salem has been kept in a cell with 20 other hardened criminals. He complained of being bored reading the newspaper every day. He also raised concerns about the quality of food.Embassy officials could not enter Salem’s cell since they didn’t have prior permission from the state government. Salem requested the officials to shift him to a prison in Uttar Pradesh since his family is based in Azamgarh and find it difficult to travel to Mumbai to meet him.