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Undertrial stripped, beaten, clicked

A Delhi court orders a probe into a case involving a 30-year-old woman undertrial who was allegedly 'punished' by Tihar jail officials.
Hindustan Times | By Naziya Alvi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 01:35 AM IST

A 30-year-old woman undertrial was allegedly dragged to an isolated cell, stripped, beaten, photographed and videographed by officials in Tihar jail, allegedly as ‘punishment’ after she was caught with a letter in which she had complained against prison staff.

A city court on Monday ordered a probe into the matter after the woman broke down before the judge narrating the incident. The woman, who is facing trial in a murder case, was produced before the court for a routine hearing. She has submitted the names of four people who witnessed her humiliation.

In a detailed complaint before Additional Session Judge V.K. Bansal, the woman alleged that the jail staff also passed “obscene remarks” about her. She said she was humiliated enough to attempt suicide after the incident. The court immediately sent her to AIIMS for a medical examination.

Bansal also directed a metropolitan magistrate to take “immediate legal steps to look into the allegations”, who then directed the police to register an FIR. The Delhi Police have confirmed receiving the court’s orders.

Tihar Jail’s legal officer Sunil Gupta, however, denied the allegations. He said, “No such incident has taken place in Tihar.”

According to the woman’s complaint to the court, on March 26, three wardens — Sanjay, Paramjeet and Jhumman Singh — along with a photographer and a few female superintendents, dragged her from her cell in jail number six to a “high risk” area. “There, I was beaten up and stripped by them. They then clicked my photographs and videographed me,” she said.

She went on to say that when she tried to commit suicide, they took her to the psychiatry department where the doctors laughed at her saying, “Beta, pyar se high-risk cell mein kyon nahin chali jaati?” (Kid, why don’t you cooperate and go to the high-risk cell with them?)

The highly emotional woman told the court she was not in a proper mental state, and should be sent either to a hospital for treatment or be just allowed to die, but she should not be sent back to Tihar jail.

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