Byculla jail inmate death: Maharashtra women's commission to set up three-member panel for probe

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Women's Commission (MSWC) will set up a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death of a life-term woman convict in the Byculla Jail on 23 June, an official said on Thursday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The SIT would comprise a retired high court judge, a retired IPS officer and a representative of a women's NGO as members, said MSWC Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar.

In a related development, the State Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognisance of the matter and ordered police and Byculla jail superintendent to submit a report on the incident in which six jail staffers have already been suspended.

"We shall constitute a three-member SIT within a couple of days. It will visit the jail and speak to the inmates who were beaten during the rioting on Saturday. It will record the statements of all concerned, including Indrani Mukerjea," Rahatkar told mediapersons.

Earlier, Deputy IGP (Prisons) Swati Sathe met the MSWC and submitted a report on the incident and the action taken by jail authorities after the rioting last weekend.

The MSWC has also asked the jail authorities to submit a detailed autopsy report of the victim, a warden, Manju Shette, 40, to help investigate the matter.

Indrani, who submitted her statement on the incident before the Special CBI Court on Wednesday, on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Nagpada Police Station as directed by the court.

Following Shette's death on Friday night, on Saturday morning the angry prisoners resorted to a massive protest. Some climbed to the terrace of the prison and drew the attention of passersby, some burnt things inside the jail.

Later, police lodged a complaint of rioting, attacking public servants, unlawful assembly and other charges against some 200 inmates, including Indrani.

The prison officials have accused Indrani of reportedly instigating the inmates by asking them to launch a hunger strike and use their children as "human shields" when the jail staff tried to stop their agitation.

Shetye was a jail warden serving the last few months of her 14-year jail term for murdering her sister-in-law in 1996. She had complained about some missing ration from the food stock on Friday.

She was allegedly summoned by a woman jailor and beaten up brutally by six women jail staffers, according to witness statements recorded by police.

Shetye was rushed to the Sir JJ Hospital nearby but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Shortly after the incident and the outcry, Additional Director-General of Prisons BK Upadhyay ordered a probe and suspended six jail staffers against whom there were allegations of misbehavior.

Indrani is currently undergoing trial for the killing of her daughter, Sheena Bora, in April 2012, along with her husband and former media tycoon Peter Mukerjea, and her another former husband Sanjeev Khanna.

Updated Date: Jun 29, 2017 19:54 PM

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