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Mumbai inmate’s death: Jail officer tells colleagues to support ‘accused sisters’, seeks out of probe

mumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 20:23 IST
Mumbai city news,Manjula Shetye,Mumbai inmate murder

The complainant said that Shetye was stripped inside the barrack, the jail staffers even inserted lathi (stick) inside her private parts.(File)

Screenshots of WhatsApp messages showing Swati Sathe, DIG, jail, seeking support for the six jail staff arrested for the brutal assault and murder of convict Manjula Shetye went public on Thursday, leading to a controversy.

The messages, apparently sent by the deputy inspector general (DIG) on a social messaging group with senior prison officials as its members, show Sathe asking the department to support their six accused sisters.

In one of the messages, Sathe blamed the media for the arrest.

Sathe, meanwhile, has written to her superiors requesting to be removed from the inquiry team of Shetye murder case.

A top official of the prison department told HT they will seek legal opinion before initiating disciplinary action against the DIG. Sources said leaking of messages seemed to be a result of a fallout between jail officials.

IG Rajvardhan Sinha will conduct the inquiry.

The message that was circulated. (HT)

Shetye’s family has demanded action against Sathe. “DIG Swathi Sathe should be arrested for supporting and seeking support for the six murder accused,” says Manjula Shetye’s brother Anant. “Sooner or later people will stop trusting the police force as instead of giving justice they are supporting their own staff members. If I get any proof that she actually sent out the messages, I will approach the investigating officers, seeking her arrest.”

The post-mortem reports revealed there were 1 to 16 contusions in her body. The complainant, who is also a witness in the case, told the police Shetye was brutally assaulted for complaining about two eggs and five pieces of pav (bread) missing from morning ration.

She said that Shetye was stripped inside the barrack, the jail staffers even inserted lathi (stick) inside her private parts.

Shetye was left in an unconscious state for a while following which after consulting a resident doctor, she was admitted in JJ hospital, where she was declared dead.

The death triggered a violent protest by other prisoners and some 200 of them, including former media bigwig Indrani was booked for rioting, assaulting and mischief with fire.

The case was later transferred to the crime branch, who arrested the six jail officials – jailer Manisha Pokharkar, and the constables Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 12:04 IST