Gujarat opens its jail for inspection by British expert | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gujarat opens its jail for inspection by British expert

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2011 00:38 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
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Clearing the decks for the first inspection of an Indian jail by a foreign expert, the Gujarat government has agreed to open its jail to a human rights expert from the United Kingdom to allay fears of poor living conditions of its prisons.

The jail conditions and human rights issues were among the reasons that a court in Denmark cited to reject the extradition of Purulia arms-dropping accused Kim Davy.

The request from the British government had come at the instance of a court handling extradition of Mohd Hanif Umerji Patel alias Tiger Hanif, who is wanted 17-year-old Surat bombing case.

An 8-year-old girl on her way home from school was killed in the terror attack while 12 others were injured.

Tiger Hanif had expressed fears of torture and poor conditions in Indian jails in the court that asked the government to examine if a human rights expert could report on the prison conditions in India.

The Union home ministry was peeved at the request and reluctantly accepted the unusual condition. But it sent a clear message to the UK government that this exception was being granted on principles of reciprocity. Home Ministry officials said India's concurrence to the request on conditions of "reciprocity" was being conveyed through the foreign ministry.

India would retain the right to "reciprocate" in case of extradition of any British fugitives.

Incidentally, according to a BBC report, the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court was told that Hanif had not spoken of the torture claims when he was interviewed for asylum in the UK in 1996.

But Hanif's counsel claimed victims could take a considerable time before they felt able to discuss such treatment and some would never admit it took place.