Byculla jail murder case: Jailors now inmates in Thane

Jul 15, 2017, 10:17 IST | Suraj Ojha

Officers say they were sent there for their security as something untoward could happen in the Byculla prison; Manjula's saree found, but lathi missing

Manjula Shetye
Manjula Shetye

The six officials of the Byculla women's prison arrested for the alleged custodial murder of convict Manjula Shetye, were on Friday sent to judicial custody by a city court. Interestingly, in a bid to circumvent any further trouble by lodging them in the same jail where they are accused of committing the crime, the prison department has sent them to the Thane central prison instead. According to ADG (prisons) BK Upadhyay, "Keeping the security of the accused in mind, we shifted them to Thane jail."

Not in Byculla
Grade 2 jailor Manisha Pokharkar, and guards Bindu Naikodi, Waseema Shaikh, Sheetal Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingane, were arrested by the crime branch and had till now been in police custody. During their 14-day probe, the police has already recorded around 60 statements of inmates who claimed they saw Manjula assaulted by the six accused.

Where is the lathi?
In the FIR, one of the allegations has been that a lathi was inserted in Shetye's private parts, but the crime branch has been unable to trace it yet. Meanwhile, the yellow saree that Manjula was reportedly wearing on the day of her assault has now been found – in a corner of the room where the guards stored their lathis. They chanced upon it when hunting for the missing lathi. Sources say the police now believes the lathi has been disposed off.

Children rights at prisons
In another development, following reports that inmates used their children as shields on the day of the riots, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection Of Child Rights chairperson and associates will be visiting the Byculla jail on Saturday. "If we find safety of children is compromised, we will take action as per the law," said chairperson Pravin Ghuge.

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