June 25, 2020 2:09:50 am
Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal, arrested in connection with the anti-CAA Jafrabad sit-in protest, Wednesday alleged before the Delhi High Court that there was “large-scale violence” inside Tihar Jail and inmates were prohibited from getting in touch with family members via video conferencing. The information was presented before Justice C Hari Shankar, who was hearing Narwal’s plea seeking daily access to her lawyer via video conferencing and to carry books and reading material in prison.
Narwal’s counsel contended that as per information received by him, there was a complete lockdown following the alleged violence last week. The counsel submitted that inmates were not being allowed to speak to their family because of the violence and that some inmates’ limbs were allegedly broken by jail staff.
Delhi government’s standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra denied the allegation of inmates not being allowed to get in touch with persons outside jail via video conferencing. Mehra further stated that he had “instructions to the contrary” from the Tihar DG (Prisons). He also contended that the inmates were not being able to contact their families as there was a connectivity issue.
The court asked Mehra to file his status report on Narwal’s plea for access to her lawyer, and listed the matter for further hearing on June 29. It also asked Mehra to look into the woman’s grievance that the daily five-minute call to family members was not being made available to her.
In view of the Covid-19, meetings with lawyers, friends and families were suspended in Delhi prisons since March.
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