Taloja Central Jail authorities said a new pair of spectacles has been made and handed over to activist Gautam Navlakha, lodged in the prison in connection to the Elgaar Parishad case, on Thursday.
Navlakha (69), who was arrested by the NIA, had told his partner Sahba Husain that his spectacles were stolen in the jail. Husain, who spoke to him on a video call on November 30, had said that while she sent a new pair of glasses made in Delhi through a courier on December 3, the parcel was returned by jail authorities.
“When he informed us about his spectacles on November 30, we offered to get them made here but received no response from him or his family. We received specifications of the glasses on December 8 from his family and got them made. They were given to him on Thursday,” a jail official said. Superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar confirmed that the spectacles have been provided to Navlakha.
State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said an inquiry will be conducted. “I was informed that his family has said that after he lost his spectacles, a parcel was sent to the jail but it was not accepted. It is a sensitive issue. I believe this situation should have been handled humanely,” he added.
Husain said she has resent the parcel containing the spectacles. “Through Gautam, I was informed that if I send the parcel again, it will be received this time. So, I sent it again on Thursday. I hope it is received and given to him. Without spectacles for the last two weeks, he has been under strain and his blood pressure shot up,” she said.
On Tuesday, while hearing a petition by two other accused in the case — Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor of cultural organisation Kabir Kala Manch — against their “illegal” arrest by the NIA, the Bombay High Court had made observations on the incident. “We need to conduct workshops for jailors. How are such small items denied? These are all human considerations,” the division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik had said.
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