A Special Court has sought a response from Tihar Jail authorities after gangster Neeraj Bawana, who has been kept in the high-risk ward, filed a plea claiming that he was being kept in inhumane conditions in the prison. In the plea, Bawana stated that he, along with other inmates, is on a “hunger strike” as they are being treated “worse than animals”. He alleged that the jail administration wants them to go into “depression”. Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Pandit has sought responses from Tihar Jail on August 11.
The plea claimed that Bawana and other inmates are kept locked for 24 hours without any reason or punishment, and are not allowed “fresh sunlight”.
“Cells are stinking and have thousands of insects and sand is falling from the wall… Fresh water has been curtailed and substandard food is served. It appears that the jail administration wants to make the inmates go into depression and other illness, and such actions on the part of jail administration is dereliction of duty,” the application stated. The application claimed that a memorandum had been given to jail authorities earlier. “That when no action was taken, the appellant and the other authorities have gone on a hunger strike with effect from Monday,” claimed the application.
A Delhi court had last year acquitted Bawana of the charge of trying to kill a policemen in a 2015 shootout. The court, however, held him guilty of possessing illegal arms. The Delhi Police’s Special Cell had earlier chargesheeted Bawana and nine others, including ex-MLA Rambeer Shokeen, for the alleged offences punishable under the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). He was allegedly running an organised crime syndicate in the Delhi-NCR region.
Earlier in June, the alleged IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal had also filed a plea in court alleging human rights violations. He had alleged that he had been kept in isolation due to which he was suffering from mental and psychological problems. He had also claimed that he was denied proper medical aid, food and water, and was facing problems during the Ramzan season. However, in its reply, jail authorities had said that the allegations levelled in the application by Bhatkal are “false and fabricated”, meant to malign them with “ulterior motives best known to him”. The jail authorities had informed the court that he had been provided with all basic needs similar to other prisoners.