Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea, an accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, will be produced in a CBI special court on Wednesday, after her lawyer filed an application alleging assault and threats of sexual abuse by jail officials. Indrani was booked along with other inmates in Mumbai’s Byculla prison for rioting sparked by the death of a convict.
Taking note of the complaint, the CBI court on Tuesday, hearing the Sheena murder case, had directed jail authorities to produce the former media executive in the court.
In another development, police said that Manju Shetye, whose death sparked the protests in the prison, was allegedly tortured and a stick was inserted in her private parts.
Manju, 45, died at the government-run JJ 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.
Gunjan Mangla, the lawyer of Indrani, filed an application in the court saying when she went to meet the former media executive 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, while also being threatened with sexual assault for protesting against the death in jail.
Following Manju's death, 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, on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on a public servant and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Gunjan said Indrani requested her to bring the incident to the notice of 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 an 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.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)