Indrani Mukerjea allowed to file complaint against Byculla Jail officials following threats, assault

Mumbai: A special CBI court on Wednesday allowed Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea to approach the police and lodge her complaint that she was beaten up and threatened of sexual assault by Byculla jail officials for joining a protest in the prison.

 Indrani Mukerjea allowed to file complaint against Byculla Jail officials following threats, assault

File image of Indrani Mukerjea. PTI

Mukerjea, who has been booked along with around 200 other inmates for rioting in the prison, was on Wednesday produced in the court, a day after she moved an application alleging she was roughed up by jail officials when the inmates protested the death of 45-year-old woman prisoner Manju Govind Shette.

Special CBI judge JC Jagdale said Mukerjea be first taken for a medical examination and later to the Nagpada police station in the city to file her complaint.

The court, which is hearing the Sheena murder case, had on Tuesday directed prison authorities to produce Mukerjea before it.

Notably, the court's nod to Mukerjea to lodge a police complaint came close on the heels of the probe into the death of Manju being handed over to the crime branch.

Mukerjea told the court that she was threatened and assaulted after she said that she would give a statement (in connection with the case) to a magistrate under section 164 CRPC, which unlike a police statement is admissible in court.

Mukerjea said she had witnessed the prisoner being allegedly assaulted and when inquired about Manju's health she was told that she was fine but later learnt that she had passed away.

She said that after a case was registered in connection with Manju's death, she came forward as a witness and told the jail officials about that.

Recalling the events on the day of the protest, she alleged that the superintendent ordered a baton charge after turning the lights off in the jail.

She alleged that the inmates were baton charged by even male officials in the jail.

"I was hit on the hand and legs... I can barely walk," Mukerjea alleged and added that the superintendent told her 'tu witness banne ja rahi hai.... tereko bhi dekh lenge'.

She said the superintendent threatened her, saying "We will do the same thing that we did to Manju".

According to the application filed by her lawyer Gunjan Mangla, Mukerjea told her that she was beaten up by the jail officials after the death of Manju.

"She showed me her bruise marks and injuries which were very prominent on her hands, legs and head," the lawyer claimed in the application.

Mukerjea also informed Gunjan that she was verbally abused by jail officials and the superintendent and was threatened of sexual assault for protesting in the jail.

The lawyer had said Mukerjea wanted the incident to be brought before the court and seek permission to lodge a complaint against the jail officials.

She also said, according to the lawyer, several other inmates of the prison wanted to give their statements against the jail officials.

When Jagdale asked the lawyer if Mukerjea wants to file an FIR, she said, "yes".

Following the death of Manju on Friday, the enraged inmates rose in protest on Saturday, some of them went up to the prison's terrace while others made a bonfire of newspapers and documents to express their anger.

Later, the Nagpada police booked nearly 200 inmates of the Byculla jail, including Mukerjea, for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on a public servant and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

An official from the prison department had alleged that Mukerjea "instigated" the inmates by asking them to shun food and "use their children as shields" when prison staffers tried to stop them from agitating and gathering together.

Manju died at the state-run JJ Hospital after allegedly being beaten up by a woman official of the jail on 23 June.

The Commissioner of Mumbai Police on Tuesday night issued an order entrusting the crime branch with the investigation in the death of Manju.

The Byculla jail, located in the heart of the city, has around 251 inmates lodged there.

The police had earlier said Manju, whose death sparked protests in the prison, was allegedly tortured and a stick was inserted into her private parts.

Updated Date: Jun 28, 2017 18:21:53 IST