Tihar Jail authorities have told a Delhi court that Jamia Millia Islamia student Gulfisha Fatima, arrested under UAPA in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots, was “aggressive” and had misbehaved with prison staff on several occasions, following which she was given “correctional punishments” thrice.
The submissions were made before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat during the hearing of an application filed by Fatima, alleging she was being subjected to communal slurs and mental harassment by jail staff.
Tihar Jail superintendent, in a reply, said she was given “correctional punishment” to mend her behaviour for misbehaving with staff. “The female inmate is also trying to overpower jail staff, create nuisance in jail; her behaviour is also aggressive and troublesome. Staff has been directed to behave politely and not argue with inmates. As per record, the petitioner has been given correctional punishments to mend her behaviour,” the reply stated. On two occasions, she was warned and once her canteen facility was stopped for 10 days, it said.
The superintendent further said that in view of repeated complaints by Fatima, and to avoid any further unpleasantness, duty of the staff against whom allegations were raised have been changed from the ward “for time being to resolve the matter”.
It was further submitted that 48 Muslim women inmates are lodged in Central Jail number 6, where Fatima is, and none made any such complaint. “The court is informed that there is no discrimination on the basis of caste and creed. Inmates belonging to different religions, states, caste, and foreigners, are treated equally…,” the reply stated.
It stated that on inquiry, it was revealed that Fatima and staff had made complaints against each other. Both parties were heard and counselled to follow jail rules and maintain discipline, it said.
It said two other inmates, who were present at the time of the incident, had stated there was a heated argument between Fatima and jail staff but the latter did not use any communal slurs. The argument was over the fact that the outing time for ward number 6 was over but Fatima was still outside taking water from the cooler.
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