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NHRC orders probe into ‘harassment’ of SIMI members lodged in Bhopal jail

Family members of the some inmates claimed that the harassment started after eight suspected SIMI men were killed in October 2016, allegedly in an encounter after they escaped from the prison.

india Updated: May 26, 2017 23:06 IST
Gulam Jeelani
Gulam Jeelani
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
National Human Rights Commission,NHRC,Students Islamic Movement of India
A view of the Bhopal central jail. Last year in October, eight suspected SIMI men were killed allegedly in an encounter after they broke out from the prison.(HT File Photo)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered a probe into the alleged harassment of suspected members of the banned outfit — Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) — lodged in Bhopal Central Jail.

The rights’ panel directed its DIG to probe into the charges levelled by the kin of 21 inmates before the commission.

“The matter has been considered by the commission and it is of the view that true facts need to be ascertained. The DIG (I) of the commission is requested to constitute a team, headed by a SSP to conduct an on-the-spot investigation and submit their report at the earliest,” said directions issued by the commission on Friday.

The families had complained to the commission on Wednesday that the inmates were being “humiliated, physically assaulted and denied medical treatment” – charges which the jail authorities rubbished. Out of a total of 29 suspected SIMI men lodged in Bhopal jail since 2013, eight were killed in October 2016, allegedly in an encounter after escaping from the prison.

The kin of four inmates— Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Javed, Mohammad Adil and Mohammad Zubair — all from Ujjain, claimed that the harassment for these prisoners started after the encounter.

“As stated, on April 26, 2017, one of the under trial prisoner, Mohd Iqrar during video conferencing stated before the Sessions Court that he is being beaten up by the jail officials, daily after the incident of jail break occurred. He is forced to shout anti-religion slogans and his beard has also been forcefully trimmed,” the directive explained..

Central Jail SP Dinesh Nargawe, however, denied the claims. “I am not aware of any complaint to NHRC or any inquiry instituted by it. They (inmates) want to spend more time outside their barracks, meet their relatives and want food from outside... ,” he said.

(Inputs from Ranjan in Bhopal)

First Published: May 26, 2017 23:05 IST