Byculla jail inmate death: Two hard disks sent to forensic laboratory hold key to prison death and rioting

An officer associated with the probe said: “We do not know how many NVR machines were there in the prison. Some of the CCTV cameras were destroyed in the bonfire."

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:July 1, 2017 4:27 am
Byculla jail inmate death, Network Video Recorder in Byculla jail, NVR in Byculla jail news, NVR recorder recovered in Byculla jail, India news, National news, Crime news, The victim, Manjula Shetye, was assaulted allegedly by six prison officials over an argument last Friday. (representational)

TWO HARD disks in a Network Video Recorder (NVR) from Byculla prison sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) now holds the key to what transpired in the jail between Friday and Saturday when an inmate was allegedly murdered, followed by rioting.

While police said cameras had been damaged in a bonfire that had been lit by the inmates of Byculla prison, an NVR recorder that stores data captured by CCTV camera, was sent to the FSL.

The NVR comprising two hard disks will now be scanned, if any footage from the cameras can be retrieved by the staff. The police are relying on the CCTV camera to find out what happened in the prison.

An officer associated with the probe said: “We do not know how many NVR machines were there in the prison. Some of the CCTV cameras were destroyed in the bonfire. We have, however, found one NVR that seems intact. We have sent it to the FSL to retrieve the footage.”

Unlike a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), where cameras are attached to hard disk using wires, an NVR is a CCTV camera network not connected with wires and usually used for a larger network.

An FSL official confirmed that they had received one NVR machine. “ We do not know if there were other machines in the prison that have been damaged. We have been sent this one machine that has two hard disks. It will take us at least two weeks to extract the footage from it,” an official said.

The crime branch has formed a four member team led by an inspector-level woman officer that is investigating the murder case registered against the six prison guards. The guards are alleged to have beaten up an inmate, Manjula Shetye, to death. An officer said: “ We have started the investigation and will be recording the statement of inmates who were present when the incident took place. We are also waiting for the final post-mortem report since currently, we just have the provisional report.”

The officer added that once they get some more evidence, they will be able to arrest the six prison guards. Sources said the six women are likely to apply for anticipatory bail.

Another FIR linked to the incident regarding rioting on the part of the inmates is being probed by the Nagpada police station. The court has also asked the Nagpada Police to investigate the allegations raised by inmate Indrani Mukerjea who told the court that she had been beaten up and threatened by the prison officials.

The incident in question took place on Saturday, when a fight broke out between Manjula Shetye and six jail guards over two slices of eggs and five bread slices not being served.

Things went out of hand when the six inmates allegedly beat up Shetya severely. She lost consciousness and the other inmates started protesting. Later, they lit a bonfire in the prison and rushed to the jail terrace protesting against the incident. Shetye who was later taken to JJ Hospital succumbed to the injuries.

Nagpada Police registered a murder case against the six jail guards who were suspended. The police also registered a case of rioting and criminal conspiracy against the inmates. So far, no arrests have been made in the case.

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