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Inmate’s murder in Mumbai: Maharashtra government allows cops to prosecute jail staff

The police require home department’s sanction to prosecute a government employee

mumbai Updated: Jan 10, 2018 10:11 IST
Rahul Mahajani
Rahul Mahajani
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Manjula Shetye,Byculla jail
Manjula Shetye was allegedly murdered on June 23 last year .

The state government recently permitted the Mumbai crime branch to prosecute six jail personnel who have been charge-sheeted in the murder of inmate Manjula Shetye at Byculla women’s prison in June last year.

According to the rules, the police require home department’s sanction to prosecute a government employee. The Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the case, wrote to the state home department last year, seeking approval to prosecute the jail staff: jailer Manisha Pokharkar, and constables Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne

A senior official of the crime branch confirmed that the state home department had approved the request.

The crime branch filed a charge sheet in September last year. Apart from the murder charge, the six were booked for destruction of evidence, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy with common intention.

Shetye, a life convict and jail warden, was allegedly brutally assaulted by the officials of Byculla prison on June 23 because she had complained about missing eggs and loaves of bread from the morning ration. A lathi was allegedly inserted into her private parts. She was allegedly left unattended for at least nine hours despite sustaining grievous injuries. The news of her death led to a riot in the jail. The police recorded the complaint of an inmate on June 25, 2017.

The probe was initially carried out by the local police and later by the crime branch, after which the latter arrested the six women on July 1.

The crime branch have relied on the CCTV footage and statements of the inmates to prove the case against the six accused. The agency has, however, not submitted a CD of the CCTV footage in the court. Source said the video evidence would be submitted at a later stage.

The 990-page charge sheet includes statements of 187 witnesses and several other documents, including medical reports of Shetye. Most witnesses cited in the charge sheet are the jail inmates, including Indrani Mukerjea.

Apart from this, the agency has also cited doctors and investigating officers along with family members of Shetye as witnesses.

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 10:11 IST