Appearing before a special CBI court on Wednesday, former media entrepreneur Indrani Mukerjea alleged that she was physically and verbally abused by the jail staff, including the prison superintendent, after the death of an inmate. The court ordered Mukerjea to undergo a medical examination at the JJ hospital. It also directed the Nagpada Police to register an FIR based on Mukerjea’s complaint.
On Tuesday, advocate Gunjan Mangala, representing Mukerjea, approached the special CBI court stating that her client had informed her about the physical and verbal abuse she faced for protesting the alleged murder of a convict, Manjula Shetye.
“Today, I visited my client (Mukerjea) in Byculla jail. She showed me bruise marks and injuries, prominently on her hands, legs and head. She also informed me that she was verbally abused by the jail officials and the superintendent, and was threatened with sexual assault for protesting against the cold-blooded murder in custody,” Mangala’s application before the court said.
“Her next hearing date is on July 4. The injury marks may not be visible till then. My client wants to come before the court and file a complaint against the jail officials,” Mangala earlier said.
CCTV footage from inside the women’s jail in Byculla, where an inmate was allegedly beaten to death by jail staff on Saturday, will not be available as the cameras were burnt in a bonfire lit by women inmates, said police. In the absence of the footage, it could be difficult to establish what transpired in the prison on Saturday that led to the death of inmate Manjula Shetye.
Mukerjea, one of the most high-profile prisoners currently lodged in the Byculla Women’s Jail, has been in prison since 2015. On Friday, Shetye was allegedly assaulted by the prison staff, leading to her death. The incident had led to other inmates protesting, seeking action against the prison staff for the alleged murder. The Nagpada police filed an FIR against the staff members over the alleged murder as well as against the inmates for rioting. The police have lodged a case against all 291 inmates, while identifying three, including Mukerjea for rioting and criminal conspiracy.