Byculla jail inmate death: Attempts being made to shield someone in the govt, says Opposition

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced suspension of acting jail superintendent Tanaji Gharboodve and jail superintendent Chandramani Indulkar in connection with convict Manjula Shetye's alleged murder at the Byculla Jail in Mumbai.

It also informed the Legislative Council that a probe had been ordered into the role of Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Swati Sathe.

Shetye died in Byculla Jail on 24 June after she was allegedly beaten up inhumanly by the staff.

There was a heated debate on the incident in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, with the opposition Congress, NCP and even the ruling ally Shiv Sena alleging that attempts were being made to shield someone in the government. They demanded a judicial probe of Shetye's "murder".

File image of Manjula Shetye. Puja Changoiwala

File image of Manjula Shetye. Puja Changoiwala

While replying to the debate, Minister of State for Home (Urban) Ranjit Patil announced suspension of Gharboodve, and jail superintendent Indulkar.

He further announced that an Inspector General-level officer will probe the allegation that DIG Swati Sathe sent Whatsapp messages seeking financial and legal support for the six jail staffers arrested in the case. "The probe against Sathe will deal with whether she should be made a co-accused," the minister said. This probe will be conducted within a week, he added.

Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde (NCP) said that before the visit of opposition leaders to Byculla Jail after the incident, the authorities admitted Mariam Sheikh, an inmate and the complainant in the case, to hospital, so that she could not give them a first-hand account of events.

"Attempts are being made to shield someone involved in the case. Shetye knew what was going on inside the jail and since she was about to be released soon, she was killed fearing that she might spill the beans," Munde alleged. DIG Sathe should be made a co-accused, he demanded.

The women inmates who spoke to the opposition's delegation termed the conditions inside as "worse than hell", he said.

Updated Date: Aug 02, 2017 09:32 AM

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