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Relatives blame Yerwada jail authorities as 36-year-old inmate dies in Sassoon Hospital

A 36-year-old inmate, lodged in the Yerwada jail since April 2011, was declared dead hours after being shifted to Sassoon, the state-run tertiary hospital, on Tuesday.

Khushba Bajirao Owhal, resident of Chande, near Hinjewadi, was arrested under section 302 of IPC for his alleged role in a murder case in 2011.
His relatives are blaming jail authorities for purposely delaying his treatment leading to his death and plan to approach the human rights commission alleging negligence.

Advocate Jagdish Sonawane, who represented Owhal, claimed that he had approached the jail authorities, requesting them to admit his client to the hospital but they sent him to the hospital only for a brief medical check-up. According to Sonawane, Owhal was suffering from a chest-related problem. “Based on his request, I filed an application in the court regarding his treatment.

The court had also ordered proper treatment around a month and half ago. But, according to the jail authorities, he was taken for medical check-up and brought back to prison,” he said and added, “His relatives were also not informed. Suddenly, a relative got a call on Tuesday night about Owhal’s demise. This is a clear issue of negligence.”

According to his relatives and friends, Owhal was not involved in the death that he was arrested for.  Sharing the incident, Balasaheb Kedari, Owhal’s friend, said, “There was conflict between Owhal and his cousin over land. Owhal had constructed a building over undivided land. In March 2011, his cousin came and abused Owhal and started destroying the building.

Owhal somehow managed to stop him. However, the next morning, the cousin destroyed the building. When Owhal rushed to the spot, his cousin tried to flee but, while escaping, he went and hit the machine brought to pull the building down and got injured. He died a week later in Sassoon Hospital. Then police filed a case against Owhal, his wife and another brother, who were reportedly not even present in the village. Owhal was in Yerwada prison since April 2011.”

On the other hand, Yogesh Desai, jail superintendent, denied all charges.  “As per the court order, we had sent him to the Sassoon General Hospital for treatment. However, doctors sent him back saying that he had muscular pain. We cannot go against the doctors’ report, so we brought him back to the jail. On Monday, he was re-admitted to the jail hospital was shifted to Sassoon on Tuesday where he breathed his last.” 

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