Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea alleges she was beaten up in Byculla jail, moves court

Mumbai: Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea, booked for rioting in a women’s prison here along with other inmates, today moved a court alleging that she was beaten up by the jail officials after the death of a convict sparked a protest in the prison.

Taking note of her complaint, a CBI court, which is hearing the Sheena murder case, directed the prison authorities to produce Indrani before it tomorrow. The former media executive’s lawyer Gunjan Mangla filed an application in the court saying when she went to meet Indrani she told her that she was beaten up by the jail officials after the death of the woman prisoner.

“She showed me her bruise marks and injuries which were very prominent on her hands, legs and head,” the lawyer claimed in the application.

Gunjan said Indrani also said that she was verbally abused by jail officials and the superintendent and was threatened of sexual assault for protesting against the death in jail. Following the death of Manju Govind Shette on Friday, the enraged inmates rose in protest on Saturday, some of them went up to the prison’s terrace while others made a bonfire of newspapers and documents inside the premises to express their anger. Later, the Nagpada police booked nearly 200 inmates of the Byculla jail, including Indrani, for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on a public servant and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Gunjan said Indrani requested her to bring the incident before the court and seek her production to lodge a complaint against the jail officials.

“She informed me that several inmates want to give their statements against the jail officials who were involved in the incident,” the lawyer said.

When judge J C Jagdale asked the lawyer if Indrani wants to file a FIR, she said “yes”. An official from the prison department had alleged that Indrani “instigated” the inmates by asking them to shun food and “use their children as shields” when prison staffers tried to stop them from agitating and gathering together.

Meanwhile, police today said that Manju, whose death sparked protests in the prison, was allegedly tortured and a stick was inserted in her private parts. Manju (45) died at the government-run J J Hospital on Friday night after allegedly being beaten up by a woman official of the jail on June 23.

“These allegations are part of the FIR filed against the jail staff. We are probing the matter,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-3), Akhilesh Singh told PTI.

The Nagpada police, investigating the case, have filed an offence of murder against the jail staff.

“We are seeking information from eyewitnesses and other inmates in this connection,” a police official said.

Declining to comment on the matter, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Bhushankumar Upadhyay said, “Police have registered an offence against the jail staff and an investigation is on.”

Six jail staffers were placed under suspension and police registered a case under IPC section 302 (punishment for murder) against them. The jail, located in the heart of the city, houses around 251 inmates.

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