Probe states jailmate, not official, branded Tihar undertrial with ‘Om’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/probe-states-jailmate-not-official-branded-tihar-undertrial-with-om-5765508/

Probe states jailmate, not official, branded Tihar undertrial with ‘Om’

Nabbir told Metropolitan Magistrate the superintendent not only denied him food for two days in the name of Navratra, but also told him that he would convert him to Hinduism.

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The matter came to light when Nabbir, lodged in the High Risk Ward of Jail No. 4, filed an application alleging that on April 12, jail authorities had thrashed him, carved the symbol with hot metal and forced him to fast.

Investigation conducted by Tihar Jail authorities after an undertrial alleged an ‘Om’ symbol was branded on his back with hot metal, has concluded that the complainant, Nabbir, levelled “false allegations” against the jail superintendent. Instead, he was branded by one of his associates inside the jail premises, using “lime powder and bleaching powder”, the probe concluded.

The matter came to light when Nabbir, lodged in the High Risk Ward of Jail No. 4, filed an application alleging that on April 12, jail authorities had thrashed him, carved the symbol with hot metal and forced him to fast. He took off his T-shirt in a court to show the symbol branded on his back, which he alleged was the handiwork of a jail superintendent. The court had ordered jail authorities to inquire into the matter and submit a report.

Nabbir told Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Parihar the superintendent not only denied him food for two days in the name of Navratra, but also told him that he would convert him to Hinduism. His family then informed his counsel, Jagmohan Singh, who in turn moved an application in Karkardooma court.

Sources told The Indian Express that an inquiry was conducted by a DIG-rank officer after forming a team and they scanned CCTV footage from Jail No. 4. where Nabbir was kept earlier. A senior officer claimed: “During investigation, it was found that he appeared before the superintendent in his office on April 12, but left within minutes. Security personnel conducted his frisking when he was leaving, but he had not complained of any pain when they touched him.”

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Sources said the inquiry team attached the CCTV footage in their report, wherein they also claimed that after April 12, he was playing badminton on jail premises. Nabbir, who has been in prison for the last 15 months, was arrested in 2016 under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Arms Act. “The inquiry team met some of his associates and came to know he had allegedly taken help from one of them,” an official claimed.

When contacted, Nabbir’s counsel, Jagmohan Singh said, “The court has asked to apply for a certified copy of the inquiry report. But his family has refused to pursue the matter.” Tihar spokesperson AIG Rajkumar said the report was prepared by a DIG-rank officer. “The matter is sub judice and we cannot comment,” he said.