Mumbai: Crime branch officials recorded statements of Byculla jail inmates on Monday in the case of Manjula Shetye, a former convict at the Byculla jail who succumbed to injuries after thrashing and assault allegedly by the jail officials on June 23.
“We have recorded a total of 12 statements so far in the murder of Manjula Shetye,” a crime branch official said. The statement given by the six arrested jail officials – jailor Manisha Pokharkar, jail guards Bindu Naikode,Waseema Shaikh, Sheetal Dighaokar, Surekha Gudve and Aarti Shigne — to the crime branch reads, “We have not murdered Shetye but merely used force to control her when she became argumentative over the shortage of food.”
Speaking to the Free Press Journal, defence counsel Pankaj Bafna said, “My clients have only used force to control Shetye.” “The trigger of the assault was over the shortage of two eggs and pav at the Byculla jail,” said a crime branch official.
Shetye, a warden at the Byculla jail, had questioned the jail officials over the shortage of food. Shetye was warned by jailor Pokharkar to not to misuse her influence as a warden to give undue favours to the other inmates. “During interrogation, the jail officials have admitted that Shetye was giving undue favours to other inmates at the Byculla jail,” the official said. Meanwhile, the Mumbai crime branch is probing the role of Indrani Mukerjea for the protest by Byculla jail inmates following the murder.