Nearly 200 inmates of a women’s prison here, including Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, have been booked for rioting after they allegedly staged a protest over the death of a convict in Mumbai.
The spark for the protest was the death of 45-year-old Manju Govind Shette, a convict, at the government-run J J Hospital on Friday night after allegedly being beaten up by a woman official of Byculla Jail.
Following Shette’s death, the next day, enraged women inmates rose in protest, some of them went up to the prison’s roof while some others made a bonfire of newspapers inside the premises to express their anger, a police official said.
The inmates alleged that Shette was mercilessly beaten up by a woman prison official which led to her death.
The police official alleged the protest was staged by the inmates to grab media attention over the issue.
Subsequently, six jail staffers were placed under suspension and yesterday police registered a case under IPC section 302 (punishment for murder) against them.
Indrani, lodged in the Byculla prison after arrest in August 2015, is among nearly 200 inmates against whom a case was yesterday registered for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on public servant and other relevant sections under the Indian Penal Code, a police official said today.
The jail, located in Byculla in the heart of Mumbai, houses around 251 inmates.
Indrani, a former media executive, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and ex-driver Shyamvar Rai, are accused of killing 24-year-old Sheena Indrani’s daughter from a previous relationship – on April 24, 2012.
Activist-advocate Aabha Singh said the reaction of the prisoners was spontaneous and they have only exercised their right to demonstrate like everyone else.
“Everybody is equally at fault,” Singh said when asked about the demonstration inside the jail premises.
She said there is so much violation of human rights and corruption in prisons and “we badly need jail reforms”.
(With PTI inputs)