The inmates of the Byculla women's jail have a bully among them and they are trying their best to keep a distance from her.
Maria Susairaj, a co-accused in the murder of Neeraj Grover - an executive with Synergy Adlabs, is giving a hard time to jail staff and the inmates.
The south Indian actor and her boyfriend Emile Jerome Mathew were arrested for plotting Grover's murder in 2008. The couple had allegedly stabbed Grover before burning the body in the forest. While Susairaj is in Byculla jail, Jerome is in Taloja jail since 2008.
Jail sources said that Susairaj is one of the few inmates in the jail who is educated and speaks fluent English. "According to her, this makes her superior to the other inmates. She keeps picking fights and using foul language," the sources added.
Susairaj's short-temper, snappy nature and picking up fights over trivial issues have forced the other inmates to stay away from her.
More than three incidents of Susairaj picking fights were observed in less than two months. In a recent incident, a jail guard was injured when he tried to intervene when Susairaj and a South African inmate physically assaulted each other after the latter mistakenly pushed her.
According to the jail authorities, inmates getting into scuffles on the jail premises are common so they are not reported to the police.
"I do not interfere much in the matters of the women's jail but I keep getting complains about Susairaj's behaviour. She is just like any other undertrial and I still do not understand why she behaves in such an outrageous manner," said Surendra Kumar, inspector general (prisons).
Kumar added that he has also got complaints from the jail staff about how Susairaj provoked some reformed inmates, initiating a fight between them.
Satish Karnik, superintendent of Byculla women's jail, said: "She is under tremendous stress as her trial is in the final stage. Due to this she has become irksome and so keeps on picking fights. We counselled her following which her behaviour has improved and now for a few days she has learned to control her anger."
To prevent more ugly scenes, the jail authorities have shifted her to another cell where she is kept alone. She is now lodged in a barrack with around 35 other inmates.
Susairaj's advocate, Wahab Khan, said: "I have been meeting her frequently for about a month and she appears calm and composed. The jail guards always accompany her but they have never mentioned about the quarrels or her behaviour. For all you know, it could be somebody else's fault for which she is being blamed."