Family members of 15 Bhima-Koregaon accused have written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting their release from prison expressing fear that many of them being senior citizens with co-morbidities may be vulnerable to infection.
They have said in the letter that families have minimal knowledge of their health and wellbeing. News reports such as that of a Taloja jail inmate dying of COVID-19 due to delay in medical attention and others of staff and other inmates testing positive have increased their anxieties.
Stan Swamy, 83, has Parkinsons disease while Anand Teltumbde has asthma, it said, while Hany Babu and Surendra Gadling have eye ailments. Jyoti Jagtap has tested positive for the virus and is quarantined, it added.
They pointed out that communication has been affected as letters are posted by the jails with delay, that they receive after a month and many times do not receive. As physical meetings have stopped, they are dependent on phone calls, but these happen once in 10 days and last only four to five minutes.
They sought that their family members be released on temporary bail at least. “We are all worried about their safety in these desperate circumstances where everyone is at risk,” it said.
“Therefore we sincerely appeal to you to take timely and necessary measures for the release of our family members till the time this COVID-19 crisis subsides,” it appealed.