1984 riots convict lodged in Delhi’s Mandoli jail, dies of Covid-19
Mahender Yadav, a former legislator from Delhi’s Palam constituency who was convicted in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is the second prisoner to have died of the disease in the national capital. The other Covid death, on June 19, had taken place in the same barrack where Yadav was lodged.Updated: Jul 06, 2020 06:01 IST
Mahender Yadav, a former legislator from Delhi’s Palam constituency who was convicted in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, died at a private hospital in Dwarka on Saturday, days after testing positive for Covid-19 at Mandoli Jail where he was lodged for the last 18 months.
Yadav is the second prisoner to have died of the disease in the national capital. The other Covid death, on June 19, had taken place in the same barrack where Yadav was lodged.
On Wednesday, Yadav’s family had approached the Supreme Court seeking interim bail for him on the grounds that they were not allowed to meet him in hospital. The Supreme Court had rejected his bail petition saying nobody could visit a person admitted in the ICU and that prisoners suffering from coronavirus were not entitled to getting any special treatment or favours.
So far, 53 inmates and 88 staffers of Delhi’s jails have tested positive for Covid-19. Of them, 31 prisoners and 28 staffers have recovered, said Sandeep Goel, director general (Delhi Prisons).
Yadav was serving a 10-year sentence in the anti-Sikh riots case after conviction by a CBI court in 2018. He had been in jail since December 31 that year.
He was lodged in jail number 14 of Mandoli Jail located in north-east Delhi.
Giving a background of the spread of Covid-19 in Mandoli Jail, Goel said the death of the other prisoner, Kanwar Singh, due to coronavirus had prompted the authorities to test all the other 29 inmates in that barrack. These 29 prisoners, including Yadav, were mostly senior citizens.
“Seventeen of these 29 inmates tested positive in the first round on June 20. The others were tested again five days later and three more inmates were found to be infected. Yadav was found positive in the second round of testing,” said Goel.
A day after his test results showed he was positive, Yadav developed “uneasiness and heart-related symptoms” upon which he was referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, said Goel.
“The same day, he was referred to Lok Nayak Hospital (a Covid-designated hospital),” said Goel.
Four days later, on June 30, Yadav was moved to the private Akash Healthcare Hospital in Dwarka. “The transfer was made under police guard on the request by Yadav’s family.
On Wednesday, his family had approached the Supreme Court to request interim bail for him on the grounds that his relatives weren’t allowed to meet him in hospital and granting him bail would allow his family to take suitable steps in view of his deteriorating health.
His family had cited his advancing age and ailments like diabetes and kidney issues.
But the bench, headed by justice Indira Banerjee, had remarked, “If a person is in ICU, nobody can visit him. The petitioner cannot be given differential treatment because he is under detention.”
HT’s efforts to reach Yadav’s son did not elicit a response.
Yadav passed away at the hospital on Saturday evening, said Goel.