Violence by Sabarmati Jail authorities against Muslim inmates
Submitted by admin on 30 March 2009 – 9:38pm.
* Indian Muslim
By TwoCircles.net staff reporter
New Delhi: Following complaints of torture and ill-treatment a PIL was filed on March 23rd in Gujarat High Court for the removal of the Jail Superintendent of Sabarmati Central Jail, V. Chandrashekar. Sabarmati Jail houses many of the accused under POTA and for serial blasts case. Their situation got only worse after the filing of Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
On March 24th, Chandrashekar went on leave and instead of his deputy taking the change, government appoints R.J. Pargi in his place. On the same day, Pargi takes charge of the jail and according to the inmates stated that he is there to teach them a lesson.
Chronology of events:
March 25, 2009
At around 10 in the Morning:
A PIL was filed in The High Court of Gujarat regarding immediate transfer of jail superintendent V. Chandrashekar and appointment of a court commission to inquire the allegations of atrocities committed by him.
At around same time:
Trouble erupted when an inmate Yunus Sareswala was not allowed to meet his ailing mother. There were some skirmish between Sareswala plus 3-4 people and jailor incharge and the other guards. Cross complaints had been filed against each other.
Later in the noon:
The POTA accused went on hunger strike demanding immediate removal of the Superintendent. They also wanted that the jail be governed as per the Jail Manual.
Convicted prisoners and undertrial prisoners in serial blasts joined the hunger strike along with POTA accused.
March 26, 2009
The POTA court upon immediate representation by various lawyers against the atrocities sent the public prosecutor, 3 medical doctors, and a defense lawyer inside the jail to do the panchnama. The order on the panchnama is pending till date.
Yunus Sareswala and Saiyed Mohmmad Juned and some other prisoner were severely beaten up by the police inside jail premises.
Hunger strike joined by almost whole jail (more than 70%). Police personnel from different part of the city were called upon and 100s of prisoners were beaten up for going on hunger strike.
March 27, 2009
Hunger strike entered the third day.
Mohmmad Juned taken out from the jail for medical treatment. In the Civil Hospital, he files an F.I.R. against 3 jailors alleging torture.
Relatives were not allowed to meet with the accused (jail visit).
Meanwhile Haji Faruk usman Gani give application to designated POTA court vide Outward No. 1112 stating fear that they will be targeted and killed by/ through police by some or other reason
In the Afternoon:
A “whistle-blowing” episode happened in Central Jail at around 5 in the evening when they are performing “Asr Namaz”. Many prisoners were beaten up severely especially the accused in serial blasts case. They were pinpointed and trashed. Several POTA accused were also beaten up like Shanawaz Gandhi, Yunus Sareswala, Mohmmad Juned, Javed Siddiqui, Zahid Khan, Haji Faruk, Usman Gani, etc.
No medical treatment was given to the injured. Some doctors from Civil Hospital were called but that was too little and too late. Also the Sabarmati Jail lacks medical facilities.
“10 number Kholi” – the place were most of the POTA accused were living was vacated. All the prisoner of that place were shifted in other barracks. They were not allowed to carry any of their belongings.
All the prisoners who were on the hunger strike were beaten up again. This time the beating was done by crime branch officials and other police personnel. Main victims were the accused in the serial blasts case and POTA
March 28, 2009
Prisoners are still on the hunger strike.
Family member had tendered an application as they were not allowed to meet concern undertrial prisoners.
On Saturday Jail authorities and prison IG rejected the application stating the reason that on Saturdays only advocate are allow for interview with the accused.
Advocates tendered an application at 3:45 pm to have legal interview with so called accused (POTA & undertrial prisoners). Request was granted for some i.e. they allowed interview with POTA accused from 5:30 to 6:00 and rest were rejected stating reason that they are on hunger strike. At around 6:00 pm advocates on records make oral submission in respect to rejected application to meet the Jail Superintendent. But one reason or another, they lingered till 6:30 pm and at last they said that Jail Superintendent is busy doing rounds for inspection and hence could not meet them.
Advocate who meet the POTA accused, get information that the incident that took place is the part of conspiracy by the Jail authorities & others and right now they are under great fear that some of them might be killed or ill-treatment (especially bomb blasts case accused).
It was suggested by the advocates here that there are other accused in 9 other states who are also accused in the serial blast case. It should be taken care of that they are not brought here and the accused here should be transferred to some other better jail where there safety and security can be taken care of.
March 29, 2009
No one is allowed to meet the inmates.
March 30, 2009
Situation is not much different. According to local civil rights activists, inmates are still not allowed to meet there family members and advocates.