Updated: May 11, 2021 11:25:28 pm
DELHI UNIVERSITY associate professor Hany Babu, who is lodged in Taloja centra jail in the Elgar Parishad case, has developed an acute eye infection affecting his vision, a statement by his family issued on Tuesday said.
The statement issued by Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena, who teaches in the English department of Miranda House, also in Delhi University, and his two brothers Harish MT and MT Ansari says that Babu has little or no vision in his left eye due to swelling, which poses “a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain”.
“He is in agonising pain and is unable to sleep or perform daily chores. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to clean water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels,” the statement says.
It says that Babu experienced pain in his left eye on May 3 and since there was no specialised doctor at the jail, requested a consultation with a hospital. The statement says that he was told that an escort was not available and was taken to a government hospital in Vashi only on May 7, after his lawyers emailed the jail authorities.
The statement said that an ophthalmologist prescribed medicine and asked him to return for follow-up treatment in two days. It was claimed that this was not done till Tuesday despite requests, with jail authorities again claiming that no escorts were available.
When contacted, prison superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar said that Babu was asked to return for a follow-up on Wednesday and a request has been sent to ensure escorts are provided. He denied that the prison had any water shortage and said that Babu was given treatment by taking him to an ophthalmologist at the hospital three days ago.
Babu was arrested by the NIA in July 2020 and has been in custody since.
Taloja jail has over 3200 prisoners against its official capacity of 2124. The issue of shortage of police escorts was raised by the Prison Reform Committee (2017-18) appointed by the state government following orders of the Bombay High Court. The committee found that Taloja jail did not have enough sanctioned posts for police escorts.
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