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Six Byculla Prison Officials Charged of Murdering Prisoner Manjula Shetye in Custody

Shetye, a 38-year-old woman inmate, was allegedly brutally assaulted and murdered inside the Byculla prison by the jail superintendent and five other women staff on June 23, 2017.

Radhika Ramaswamy | CNN-News18

Updated:June 19, 2018, 6:47 PM IST
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Six Byculla Prison Officials Charged of Murdering Prisoner Manjula Shetye in Custody
Representative Image. (Reuters)
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Mumbai: A sessions court on Tuesday framed charges against six jail officials in Byculla prison for murder and conspiracy in the Manjula Shetye murder case.

Shetye, a 38-year-old woman inmate, was allegedly brutally assaulted and murdered inside the Byculla prison by the jail superintendent and five other women staff on June 23, 2017.

The accused include jailer Manisha Pokharkar and subordinates — Bindu Naikavde, Waseema Shaikh, Sheetal Shegaokar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shigane.

All the six have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code by the additional sessions judge. All six have pleaded not guilty before the court.

A 990-page chargesheet was filed by the Crime Branch of the Mumbai police in September 2017, which included statements of around 187 witnesses and Shetye’s medical reports. The six officers had allegedly kicked and punched Shetye, causing 16 contusions.

As per the chargesheet, after hitting Shetye, the cops dumped her in her cell in an unconscious state and refused medical assistance for several hours. She was left to die.

The prisoner was taken to hospital after she collapsed in the bathroom much later. She was declared dead before admission. Shetye was beaten up over an issue regarding distribution of food stocks in the jail.

The police relied on statements of eyewitnesses, medical evidence and technical evidence such as the CCTV footage, wherein the accused are seen thrashing the victim.

Bail pleas of three of the accused were rejected by the court while the other three accused had withdrawn their bail pleas.

The post-mortem examination report from JJ Hospital stated that Manjula had about 16 contusions all over her body.

The incident had led to a riot-like situation inside the jail premises with around 250 inmates, including prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, Indrani Mukerjea protesting against the brutality by jail staff. Following this, six jail staff were arrested.

Shetye was serving life imprisonment for murdering her sister-in-law Vidya Shetye. Since her conviction, Shetye was lodged at Yerwada jail, and was moved to Byculla prison about three months before she died.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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