A 25-year-old man, facing a murder trial, took up Gandhian way to mark his resistance against relentless torture at Tihar jail. Pawan Kumar, who has been in jail since 2007, went on a hunger strike for three days, not even drinking water, to fight the cruelty of jail staff.
A city court judge intervened in the matter when he came to know of Kumar's deteriorating condition through another prisoner. The judge then immediately ordered jail authorities to produce the striking undertrial in court.
Kumar, who is on trial for the murder of his neighbour, said he wanted to be treated humanely by jail authorities. He told the court that he had never been violent inside Jail Number 1, nor had he tried to break any rules. "I went on hunger strike just like Gandhiji. I felt my peaceful fight against injustice would melt the heart of these jail officials," Kumar told Additional Sessions Judge Girish Kathpalia.
Negating Kumar's claims, the jail superintendent told the court that Kumar had become a violent prisoner and it was necessary to put him in isolation. The undertrial then revealed in court that the jail authorities have tried to plant contraband on him.
“They are using fellow prisoners to fix me up in one or the other case,” said Kumar in court. Jail superintendent denied his allegations.
Rebutting all justifications by the jail authorities, the judge said, "You have never thought what made him go on hunger strike or commit any violence? It's just torture what you can give to these prisoners."
Kathpalia, slamming the jail authorities, said: "Don't make the jail a concentration camp. Give them an opportunity to reform as better human beings."
The court has now order the jail superintendent to move Kumar out of isolation and ensure there are no physical assaults on him.