Mumbai: In the wake of their co-accused Vernon Gonsalves being infected with Dengue, two accused in the Elgaar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case Anand Temtumbde and Sagar Gorkhe have filed applications before a special court seeking that they be provided mosquito nets in Taloja prison as it is “manifested with mosquitoes”.
In his application through advocate R. Sathyanarayan, Teltumbde has said that a previous plea for a mosquito net had been rejected with the court giving directions to the jail superintendent for regular fumigation and removal of weeds, etc.
Teltumbde said that mosquito repellent ointments and incense sticks are of “hardly any use” and that he has been suffering the insects despite using them. He mentioned his medical ailments and said that he is susceptible to contracting Malaria or Dengue due to these.
Cultural activist Sagar Gorkhe said in his application that it is undisputed that the Kharghar area where the prison is situated is a “Malaria prone” one. He cited the Maharashtra Prison Manual as per which mosquito curtains need to be provided in such localities. He also pointed out that prison manuals of other states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa too have provision for “mosquito nets” for inmates.
The prison authorities had cited a security threat in providing mosquito net while opposing the plea for one and said it could be used to attempt suicide. Gorkhe said on this argument, that it is contrary to provisions in several prison manuals. He also said that there is not a single case of suicide anywhere in the country using the mosquito net. He said his and his co-accused Gautam Navlakha’s mosquito nets were snatched in a raid on their cell and that this was done only to humiliate and harass them, when they were using these with knowledge of the previous jail superintendent.
His plea also complained that since May this year, only fumigation has been carried out only twice in the prison and the “unclean drainage system is a breeding ground” for mosquitoes. He also complained that many other inmates in the high security cell are using mosquito nets and only theirs was snatched.
In a separate development, Vernon Gonsalves has withdrawn his temporary bail application as he said necessary treatment is now being provided at JJ hospital. He however sought that the court ensure that the police or jail authorities do not try to get him discharged early.