Friday, November 4, 2011

Sadhvi kin to approach court for her safety in jail

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

A relative of the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast suspect, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, will approach the special MCOCA court on Friday to demand protection for her at the Byculla women’s prison. This comes after a suspected Nigerian female drug peddler allegedly abused Thakur and fought with her jail mate.

The application will be moved by advocate Ganesh Sovani on behalf of Thakur’s brother in-law, Bhagwan Bhai Jha. Thakur has been in jail since November 3, 2008. Jha’s application states that African female undertrials lodged in the same jail had created a ruckus on the premises and had gheraoed Thakur and manhandled her jail inmate Rita Jaiswal on October 27. It added that Thakur was repeatedly abused and heckled as well.

The application further stated that when the matter was reported to the jail authorities, even they could not overpower over the African inmates, who were physically much stronger than them. “If the jail authorities send police personnel to sort out the issue, then these African female undertrials try to undress themselves and scream and shout,” Jha stated in the application.

Jha believes that the court may seek a report from the superintendent of Byculla Jail about the incident that took place on October 27, and direct jail authorities to take appropriate steps for the security of Thakur and Jaiswal. The application further stated that a year-and-a-half ago, an undertrial had physically assaulted Thakur.

Assault, fighting and brawls among the jail inmates is not a new thing in city prisons. In April this year, Maria Sussairaj— who was arrested for TV executive Neeraj Grover’s murder—had entered into a scuffle with a South African female drug peddler inside the Byculla prison. The woman constable who intervened was injured. Maria was later acquitted by the court in the murder case.

Sources from the jail said a routine search of all the inmates was on. This practice is carried out in all barracks and cells in jails across Maharashtra. Maria was talking to some other inmate when the South African inmate allegedly pushed her. They had a heated argument before they caught hold of each other, said the source.

The Times of India, November 4, 2011

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