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Mumbai inmate death: ‘DIG who sought support for accused tried to destroy evidence’

Mumbai city news: Jail official Hiralal Jadhav said DIG Swati Sathe tried to destroy evidence and frighten eye-witnesses into staying quiet

mumbai Updated: Jul 09, 2017 23:37 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Mumbai inmate death,Swati Sathe
On June 23, inmate Manjula Shetye died after jail officials allegedly assaulted her.(HT File Photo)

A suspended jail official filed a written application against deputy inspector general of prisons (DIG) Swati Sathe on Sunday.

The move comes days after screenshots of WhatsApp messages showing Sathe seeking support for the six jail staff arrested for the brutal assault and murder of convict Manjula Shetye went public.

The jail official, Hiralal Jadhav, said an FIR should be filed against Sathe as she tried to destroy evidence. His letter is a clear indication of rivalry amongst officials in the state prison department.

Jadhav had been suspended for sexually harassing a woman constable. An internal probe was ordered into the issue. HT has a copy of his application, in which Jadhav said Sathe tried to protect the staff — jailer Manisha Pokharkar, and constables Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne — and frighten eye-witnesses into staying quiet.

His application was sent to commission of police (Mumbai) office, Nagpada police station and crime branch unit 3, which is investigating the Shetye murder case.

Sathe allegedly sent messages to senior prison officials, asking them to support their six accused “sisters”. In one of the messages, Sathe blamed the media for the arrests. After the texts went public, she wrote to her superiors requesting to be removed from the team investigating the murder.

The government accepted her request and the inquiry has now been handed over to inspector general Rajvarhan Sinha.

On June 23, Shetye died after jail officials allegedly assaulted her. Her death triggered violent protests. As many as 200 prisoners, including former media bigwig Indrani, were booked for rioting, assault and mischief with fire.

First Published: Jul 09, 2017 23:35 IST