On a complaint lodged by the jail authority Saturday, the Nagpada police booked all 291 inmates of the Byculla women’s prison for rioting and assaulting jail staff, police said Monday. “Since individual roles of inmates have not been assigned, all 291 female inmates have been booked in the case,” said an officer attached to the Nagpada police station.
The death of murder convict Manjula Shetye (31) sparked off the alleged rioting in the Byculla jail Saturday. The police have asked for a detailed forensic analysis to be conducted before acting against the jail officials booked for allegedly killing her.
With authorities at the Byculla jail initially claiming that she died of a heart attack, the police have written to the prison department seeking her detailed medical records. “We want to understand the medical history of the deceased and find out if she suffered from any condition that may have contributed to her death. We have written to Yerawada jail in Pune asking to examine Shetye’s medical records,” said the officer.
Shetye’s brother Anant, however, has claimed that his sister had always been in good health. “In the 13 years that she was lodged in Yerawada jail, not once was there a need for her to be taken to hospital,” he said.
The police have started recording statements of prison inmates who claim that Shetye was assaulted by a woman sub-inspector and five other constables. Meanwhile, the police have asked Byculla jail authorities to provide them with access to CCTV footage of the premises to examine the sequence of events that resulted in Shetye’s death.
Shetye’s death on Friday night sparked a riot in the jail, with inmates clashing with guards and injuring five of them. While the prison department has suspended six personnel booked for murder and dereliction of duty, the police said several prominent inmates including Indrani Mukherjea, accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, were asked to bring the situation under control.
“The jailors gave Indrani Mukerjea and a few other prominent inmates a microphone and asked them to appeal to their fellow inmates to maintain order, but their requests went unheeded,” said an officer at the Nagpada police station. Several inmates allegedly rushed to the roof of the jail, where they set fire to clothes and newspapers and chanted slogans, said the police.