In a bone-chilling development, a superintendent of Tihar Jail in Delhi allegedly engraved the Om symbol on the back of a Muslim inmate to punish him for raising a complaint about a non-functional stove.
The horrifying development came to light after the family members of Shabbir alias Nabir approached a local court against the torture. Judge Richa Parihar took a dim view of the torture by Jail Superintendent Chauhan and ordered that the 24-year-old Muslim inmate be immediately removed from ‘the direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan.’
“The allegations raised by the accused are of serious nature and required immediate intervention… a notice is being issued to DGP, Prisoner, Head Quarter, Jail No. 4, New Delhi to get the medical examination of accused Nabbir conducted with immediate effect and also to make enquiry report regarding the burn imprinted ‘Om’ mark on the person of the accused,” news agency ANI quoted the court order.
A report by India Today said that Chauhan was angry because Shabbir had made a complaint about the non-functional induction stove in his barracks. Chauhan first allegedly physically assaulted him while accusing him of trying to be a neta and raising complaints.
When Chauhan and his goons in uniform were done with beating Shabbir, they placed a hot metal to engrave the Om symbol on his back. Shabbir was later denied food for at least two days. Two days later, on 14 April, Chauhan reportedly told Shabbir that he had converted to Hindusim because he had fasted during Navaratri.
Chauhan and his goons also insulted Shabbir, blaming him and his religion for having ‘destroyed our country.’
Shabbir first shared his ordeal with his family, who approached the local court in east Delhi about his woes. On 17 April, when Shabbir was scheduled to be brought to the court, the judge asked him to narrate his story. Shaken by his story, the woman judge ordered the police to launch a probe and directed the Director General of Prison to submit the CCTV footage within 24 hours.
However, defying the court order, the DGP prison refused to send anyone from Tihar to appear before the court on 18 April. The judge has now directed the DGP Prison to submit a detailed report along with CCTV footage on 22 April.
Shabbir has been in Tihar since December 2017.