Women MPs Panel Meets Byculla Jail Inmates

BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty

Following the riots in Byculla women’s prison over the death of a female inmate, a panel of 30 women MPs are meeting the prisoners on July 13 and 14. The inmates, including celebrity mediaperson, Indrani Mukerjea, who is an undertrial in the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora, have alleged that jail guards assaulted them during the protest in the jail.

The panel, headed by BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty, is aiming to discuss the living condition of the jail inmates and how they are treated.

Apart from Chakravarty, DMK’s Kanimozhi, TMC’s Satabdi Roy and NCP’s Supriya Sule are also on the panel. “We will seek a report from the state government,” said the panel members.

After the interaction with authorities and inmates, the panel will prepare an analysis on women in detention and access to justice. However, as prisons are part of the state’s jurisdiction, the panel can only make suggestions, said officials, Indian Express reported.

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Chances are that officials from the Union home ministry and state prisons department will be also there during the interaction.

Mukerjea, who is lodged in jail since 2015, has filed a complaint against the jail’s superintendent for intimidating her with sexual assault if she opened her mouth about Manjula Shetye’s death, which led to the inmates protesting in the jail.

Last month, a group of 200 women, including Mukerjea, were booked for the offence of rioting, destruction of property and causing injury to prison staff. The inmates protested because of the brutality Shetye allegedly suffered at the hands of a women’s prison officer. She died in JJ Hospital. Since then, a jailer and five guards have been arrested for the custodial death of Shetye.

Picture credit- Assam Times