Family members of a convict lodged in Nashik jail have written to the State Human Rights Commission on allegations of harassment by prison officials.
A 32-year-old convict, Asghar Ali Mansoori, died by suicide inside the jail last month. A note found in his abdomen during the postmortem, suspected to have been swallowed by him, accused five prison officials of harassment. At least five prisoners had come forward, writing letters to the authorities willing for their statements to be recorded regarding the alleged harassment Mansoori faced. While one of them was released, four continue to remain in Nashik jail.
The complaint to the SHRC and other authorities in the state, including the Governor’s office, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and others, given by Mohammed Suhail Shaikh states that a call was received on November 25 from his brother, Zuber, lodged inside the jail.
“My brother informed me on the phone call that one of the four witnesses to the harassment was assaulted by prison officials on November 24. My brother too may be harassed and assaulted by prison officials. We request that the authorities intervene,” the letter states.
Suhail added that while the authorities had recorded the statements of those who were willing to come forward as witnesses, his brother had informed him that the statements were not recorded as per their say. He also said the four were kept in a separate ward as a means of punishment. Response sought from the prison department did not yield a reply. Mansoori’s father has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court seeking an inquiry in a time-bound manner and the suspension of the five prison officials named by him. The petition is yet to come up for hearing in court.
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