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Activist Gautam Navlakha Denied Spectacles Sent by Family to Taloja Prison, Maha Govt Orders Probe

File photo of human rights activist Gautam Navlakha.

File photo of human rights activist Gautam Navlakha.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the situation should have been handled humanly and such incidents need to be avoided in future.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has ordered a probe into Taloja prison authorities allegedly denying Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case accused Gautam Navlakha spectacles after they refused to accept a parcel sent by the latter's family. Deshmukh made the announcement on Twitter.

"Bhima-Koregaon case accused Gautam Navlakha denied spectacles by jail authorities as they refused to accept parcel sent by his family," Deshmukh said in the tweet. "I have ordered an inquiry in this matter. I believe this situation should have been handled humanly & such incidents need to be avoided in future," he added.

Navlakha's family members had on Monday claimed that his spectacles were stolen on November 27 inside the Taloja prison, where he is lodged. They claimed that Navlakha is "almost blind" without the spectacles and yet, when they sent a pair of new spectacles to him by post earlier this month, the prison authorities refused to accept it and sent it back.

On Tuesday, observing that humanity is most important, the Bombay High Court had referred to the alleged theft of Navlakha's spectacles inside the prison and called for the need to conduct a workshop for jail officials to sensitise them on the needs of prisoners.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik said it had learnt about how the spectacles were stolen inside the jail and the prison authorities refused to accept the new spectacles sent by his family through courier.