Lawyers for Fasih alleged he was brutally beaten in Jail No. 2 of the high-security complex. Tihar authorities, however, said Fasih had only suffered a “minor injury” after he got into a scuffle with an undertrial prisoner.
“Fasih and (the undertrial) Harsimran were returning to their cells after meeting relatives during ‘mulakat, when an argument broke out between them. Harsimran reportedly pushed Fasih and punched him. Before Fasih could react, guards who were in the area ran forward and intervened. Fasih sustained a minor injury in his foot and was sent to DDU Hospital, where he was given minor first aid and discharged,” Sunil Gupta, PRO, Prisons, said.
Harsimran faces multiple cases of murder.
DDU medical superintendent Dr Bharat Singh said he was “not aware” of the case, and declined to comment. A senior doctor at DDU Emergency said, “Two prisoners were brought to us on Friday afternoon by jail authorities. It appears there had been a scuffle, with both having sustained bruises and abrasions.
“One of the patients, Fasih Mehmood, had bruises on one leg. First aid was administered and both patients were discharged,” the doctor said.
Fasih was arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell after he landed in Delhi on October 22, 2012. On Saturday, his lawyers said they had found out about the incident only after he was brought to court on a wheelchair for a scheduled hearing.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha alleged that his client had received threats, and asked to turn approver against his co-accused or else face death. Pracha alleged that the alleged altercation in the jail had been “instigated”.
“Fasih was brought from Saudi Arabia with the assurance that his life and safety would be assured. It is shameful that the attack is being passed of as a minor scuffle. The police have not even registered an FIR in the matter. One of Fasih’s legs is broken, and he has injury marks all over his body. He couldn’t even walk,” Pracha said.
Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash ordered that Fasih be taken to AIIMS for treatment, and directed Tihar authorities to provide him with protection. Fasih had not been taken to AIIMS until Saturday evening, however.
Fasih’s wife Nikhat, who was in Patna on Saturday, said over the phone, “His elder brother had gone to meet him during mulakat yesterday. When he was returning to his cell, someone attacked him brutally. Even though it happened yesterday, no one from the family was informed about it.
“How can the jail be such an insecure place? The authorities are so insensitive that they did not even let us know about it. I will take legal action to ensure my husband’s safety.” Nikhat said she would be flying to Delhi on Saturday evening.
Fasih’s father Firoz Alam demanded that his son be kept in a separate cell. He asked the central government to ensure that his son did not meet the same fate as that of his fellow villager and terror suspect Qateel Ahmed Siddiqui, who was killed in Pune’s Yerwada jail in 2012.
Alam, who is a doctor at a Madhubani primary healthcare centre, told The Sunday Express: “Like any father, I am concerned about the safety of my son. The government should have been more careful after the Qateel incident.”