Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala wanted a mosquito net and created quite a buzz when he took a plastic bottle filled with dead mosquitoes to a court to highlight conditions in his prison cell. But the ploy did not work and his request for a net was turned down.

A Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday rejected the application by Lakdawala, a former associate of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim who is facing multiple criminal cases, including those under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Lakdawala was arrested in January 2020 and has been lodged at the Taloja prison in neighbouring Navi Mumbai since then.

He had recently filed an application in court seeking permission to use a mosquito net. In his application, Lakdawala said that in 2020 when he was remanded in judicial custody, he was permitted to use a mosquito net, but in May this year, the prison authorities seized the net citing security concerns.

On Thursday, when Lakdawala was produced before the Sessions Court, he showed a plastic bottle filled with dead mosquitoes and said the inmates of Taloja jail have to face this problem everyday. But the jail authorities opposed the plea citing security reasons.

The court, while rejecting the application, said the accused applicant (Lakdawala) could use Odomos and other mosquito repellents.

Apart from Lakdawala, several undertrials from the Taloja prison have also filed similar applications. In some cases, the request was allowed, while it was rejected in several others.

Gangster D K Rao was permitted by the court to use mosquito net by one judge, but another judge did not permit the same to a few accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case and a direction was given to the prison authorities to take all necessary precautions to curb the mosquito menace.

In September this year, activist Gautam Navlakha had also filed an application seeking permission to use a net, which is still pending.

With PTI inputs