It was a day that saw almost all women inmates lodged in Tihar Jail swing from extreme joy to utter anguish within hours.
As the imprisoned mothers of 39 children stood tall while the authorities inspected the jail’s play school, being run in association with an NGO, an HIV-afflicted inmate passed away at the Deen
Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Hospital, which is not very far away.
“She had been ill for several months and used to be in and out of the hospital. We were attending a small function at our play school around 1.30pm when we got the news,” an inmate said.
According to the Tihar Jail administration, the 54-year-old deceased from Nigeria was rushed to the hospital on Friday, after an asthma attack.
She had been lodged in the Tihar Jail since 2005 for allegedly being involved in a case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. According to sources, she was liked by children at the playschool.
“She was diagnosed with HIV about a year ago, after which she went into depression. She got a new lease of life when she spotted some children in the play school while taking a walk in the jail compound,” said the source.
Since then, she would always help the children or those managing the school.
Sunil Gupta, legal officer, Tihar Jail, said the Nigerian embassy had been contacted and a metropolitan magistrate was conducting a judicial enquiry into her death.