Byculla jail killing: Six Mumbai police officials arrested
Mumbai city news: The six jail officials accused of fatally assaulting murder convict Manjula Shetye inside Byculla jail last week were arrested on Saturdaymumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 20:23 IST
The six jail officials accused of fatally assaulting murder convict Manjula Shetye inside the Byculla jail last week were arrested on Saturday, just as they were about to talk to an advocate about anticipatory bail pleas.
Unit 3 of the Crime branch, which is investigating Shetye’s death, said the six arrested officials include jail officer Manisha Pokharkar, and constables Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne.
“We have arrested the six jail staffers. We decided to arrest them based on our investigations and the post mortem report,” said a senior IPS officer, not wishing to be named.
Shetye was grievously assaulted by prison staff last week for complaining about missing food rations.
The jailors had held Shetye’s legs apart and inserted a lathi in her private parts, the police report had said, quoting a witness. Her death sparked a violent protest by other inmates.
Police have booked the six officials under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intension) of the IPC.
One of the constables, Naikade, was produced in court on Saturday and remanded in police custody till July 7. The others will be produced in a holiday court on Sunday.
Investigators, piecing together how the assault took place, have so far found that after Shetye and the jail staff argued over eggs and bread, she accompanied another inmate whose family had come to visit her — this was Shetye’s duty as warden.
“In five minutes, Shetye is said to have asked the inmate to return to jail. This angered the inmate, who complained to the jailer Pokharkar,” said an officer. The officer said other inmates had also complained about Shetye being “bossy”.
The officer said this angered Pokharkar, who asked her constables to bring Shetye to her cabin. “She was assaulted here, and then around noon, they took her to barrack number 5 and assaulted her again,” the officer said. At 7.20pm, Shetye was taken to JJ hospital, where she was declared dead.
Meanwhile, in her statement to the police, Naikade alleged that former media executive Indrani Mukerjea — in jail accused of her daughter’s murder — “conspired” against her and the other jail officials.
Naikade said Mukerjea wasn’t allowed to move inside the jail and was always being watched, which made her angry with the jail staff.
“So taking the opportunity, she made the whole story and asked another inmate, the complainant and witness in the Shetye assault case, to give a statement against us,” Naikade said.
The complainant had descibed to the police how Shetye was brutally assaulted, stripped inside a barrack and assaulted again with a lathi for complaining about the morning rations.
The death triggered a violent protests by other prisoners and some 200 of them, including Mukerjea, were booked for rioting.