The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notices to the Gujarat Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Keshav Kumar and Superintendent of the Sabarmati Central Jail,V Chandrashekar,over allegations of atrocities committed on prisoners.
A division bench comprising Justice M S Shah and Justice H N Devani issued the notices after the preliminary hearing of a public interest litigation filed by NGO Jan Sangharsh Manchs representative Shamshad Pathan. The notices are returnable by March 30.
The court also directed the Ahmedabad District and Sessions Judge to visit the jail during weekend and inquire into the alleged incidents there. The bench further directed the officer above the rank of jail superintendent to intervene and make every attempt to settle the disputes by March 30.
Appearing for the petitioner,senior advocate Mukul Sinha submitted before the court that Pathan had received several complaints from the relatives of certain prisoners of the Central Jail at Sabarmati,alleging they were subjected to severe torture and inhumane treatment by Chandrashekhar.
He said the superintendent had allegedly created an atmosphere of terror in the jail and violated all the norms of a civilised society.
Giving example of incidents of atrocity,Sinha pointed out that one Mr Akbar,a convicted prisoner,was severely beaten up and his leg was fractured.
Another prisoner Silvester,who was one of the witnesses in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and was brought from Udaipur on March 20,2009,was also brutally beaten up.
He was handcuffed on one hand and another hand was tied with the bars of the ventilator. He was made to stand facing the wall and brutally beaten up on the back with a stick by Chandrashekhar. It was also reported that his life was in danger.
A Nigerian undertrial,Louis,was also severely beaten up. Two prisoners Asraf Ismail Nagori and Rahim alias Ferozkhan Pathan convicted under POTA were denied medical treatment.
Apart from specific complaints of brutality and atrocity committed on prisoners,Sinha submitted that the jail authorities were completely unsympathetic towards the welfare of the prisoners. Knowingly and deliberately they flouted the directions given by the high court in its order dated May 7,2004 in Special Civil Application No.16198/2003.
He submitted that Chandrashekhar after taking over the administration of the jail had curtailed all the amenities and welfare measures,which the prisoners were entitled to under law.
Issues notices to Gujarat IG Police (Prisons) and Superintendent of Sabarmati Central Jail
Major tussle between jail staff and inmates
A team of doctors and X-ray technician from the Civil Hospital was rushed to the Sabarmati Central Jail on Friday,following a major tussle between the jail staff members and the inmates,said sources.
Around 8-10 jail officials and prisoners each were injured in the fight. The jail authorities could not be contacted to confirm the facts of the incident. Sources in the Civil Hospital,however,confirmed that a team comprising two surgeons,one orthopaedic doctor and an X-Ray technician was sent to the jail to attend the injured.
Sources said that the incident took place around 4 pm on Friday when some inmates were continuing with their hunger strike against the alleged atrocities committed by jail authorities.
A jail official along with another prisoner went to the protestors and asked them to end the hunger strike. Following a round of heated argument,the prisoners allegedly beat up the jail official,which ultimately resulted in the clash.
Neither Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Keshav Kumar nor the in-charge jail Superintendent R J Parghi could be contacted to get the official version of the incident.