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Category: Prison conditions

Gautam Navlakha’s health has worsened in jail, not being allowed phone calls, says his partner

Gautam Navlakha’s health has worsened in jail, not being allowed phone calls, says his partner

Phone calls, daily walks in jail’s green area stopped, says Navlakha’s partner

24/10/2021

The Hindu / by Special Correspondent

His fragile health and well-being will be further jeopardised by these actions, says Sahba Husain.
Activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case in 2020, has recently been shifted to a high-security section of the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai and not allowed to call his family and lawyers, said his partner, Sahba Husain, in a statement on Sunday.
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Gautam Navlakha’s health has worsened in jail, not being allowed phone calls, says his partner

24/10/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The health condition of activist Gautam Navlakha deteriorated after he was shifted to the high-security barrack called the “Anda circle” in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail, his partner Sahba Husain said on Sunday.
In a statement, Husain also said that the Bhima Koregaon case accused was not being allowed to make phone calls to his family members and lawyers.
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Full Statement by Sabha Husain

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Only ‘objectionable’ letters are being withheld by prison authorities: NIA to Bombay HC

Only ‘objectionable’ letters are being withheld by prison authorities: NIA to Bombay HC

Only ‘objectionable’ letters of accused are being withheld by prison authorities: NIA to Bombay HC

23/10/2021

Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia

Families of accused persons Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves have alleged that the prison authorities are withholding letters sent to and received from the jailed activities.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), that is investigating the Bhima Koregaon violence case, has informed the Bombay high court that jail authorities are only withholding “objectionable” letters written by the Bhima Koregaon accused.
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Anand Teltumbde’s Letters Alleged Planting Of Evidence On Computer, Had Objectionable Contents, Hence Withheld: NIA

23/10/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Taloja Prison officials only restricted “objectionable” and “incriminating” letters written by Professor Anand Teltumbde and activist Vernon Gonsalves as it was “hampering the trial” and material against them in the Bhima-Koregaon Elgar Parishad Case, the National Investigating Agency has said.
The NIA’s reply responds to their wives’ – Rama Teltumbde and Susan Abraham’s – plea in the Bombay High Court seeking action against the then Superintendent of Taloja Prison for withholding communication with family.
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Only those letters of accused with suspicious content withheld: NIA to Bombay High Court

23/10/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The NIA’s submission came in response to a plea by wives of Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves, alleging that superintendent of Taloja Central Prison was withholding letters sent to and received from family members.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told the Bombay High Court that not all letters written by Bhima Koregaon accused to their family members are being withheld by the jail superintendent.
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The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

While out on temporary bail in August, the rights activist sang a song written by Kabir Kala Manch’s Ramesh Gaichor for his friends and colleagues about the sordid conditions in prison.
Mumbai: Surendra Gadling, a human rights lawyer from Nagpur, has always considered courtrooms his stage. Between serious arguments, he would casually break into songs of cultural and political resistance. He would be commonly found invoking political theories and remembering shahirs from the Dalit community amid serious legal arguments. His court appearances usually attracted an eager audience from among his peers and junior lawyers.
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Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

hindi | 11min | 2021

51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent.
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Also read: India’s Jail Stats: 7 In 10 Undertrials, 1 In 3 Dalit/Adivasi (IndiaSpend / Oct 2021)

Silence from Maharashtra authorities on letter on Father Stan Swamy’s jail torment

Silence from Maharashtra authorities on letter on Father Stan Swamy’s jail torment

Silence on letter on Father Stan Swamy’s jail torment

12/10/2021

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

A three-month-old letter by three Elgaar Parishad co-accused alleging “institutional murder” of Father Stan Swamy and accusing then Taloja prison superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar of mistreating him has yet to evoke any response from the Maharashtra authorities it was sent to.
The letter alleged the 84-year-old Jesuit and tribal rights defender from Jharkhand was strip-searched “in front of the entire staff” when he was brought to the jail, and was kept in isolation so the Parkinson’s patient could not receive any help from fellow prisoners.
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Stan Swamy’s Death was an Institutional Murder: Co-inmates write to Uddhav Thackeray

06/10/2021

NewsClick / by Parth M.N.

The letter holds the superintendent of Taloja Prison, Kaustubh Kurlekar, responsible for Swamy’s death, and accuses him of purposely emasculating Swamy’s physical health and mental resolve.
Three political prisoners arrested in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case have written a letter to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray. The letter claims that father Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist based in Jharkhand, did not die a natural death. “It was an institutional murder,” says the letter, signed by human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, and cultural activists Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkhe, who were eyewitnesses to the treatment meted out to Swamy in prison.
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NIA tells Mumbai HC objectionable material in letters by accused to family published in The Caravan

NIA tells Mumbai HC objectionable material in letters by accused to family published in The Caravan

NIA tells Mumbai HC objectionable material in letters by accused to family published in The Caravan

10/10/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

NIA opposed the plea filed before Bombay High Court by wives of Teltumbde and Gonsalves, against the Superintendent of Taloja Prison, accusing him of withholding letters sent to and received from their family members.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed the plea filed before Bombay High Court by wives of Bhima Koreagon accused Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves, against the Superintendent of Taloja Central Prison, accusing him of withholding letters sent to and received from their family members.
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HC seeks reply on plea by wives of accused seeking probe into ‘restrictions’ on letters

09/10/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the state prison authority and the NIA to file a reply to the plea by the wives of Elgaar Parishad case accused Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves, who are lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai, seeking an inquiry for allegedly restricting the two activists from writing letters to their spouses and lawyers.
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Jail Authorities Are Blocking Letters From Elgar Parishad Arrested to Their Loved Ones

Jail Authorities Are Blocking Letters From Elgar Parishad Arrested to Their Loved Ones

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

After Father Stan Swamy’s death in July, Sudhir Dhawale penned an emotional letter. But Taloja jail authorities decided nobody should read it.
When 84-year-old Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy passed away on July 5, one of his co-accused in the Elgar Parishad case, Sudhir Dhawale, penned an emotional poem. Dhawale, a writer and anti-caste activist from Mumbai who is currently jailed at the Taloja central prison, wrote an eight-page poem describing his first meeting with Swamy, their interactions in jail and Swamy’s contribution to the tribal rights movement in Jharkhand. He titled the poem Pathalgadicha Father or the ‘Father of Pathalgadi’.
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Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

28/09/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Rights activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj are lodged in this prison.
On September 17, a local health post in Mumbai’s E ward was notified about a sudden increase in “fever” cases inside Byculla women’s prison. The cause of the fever was unknown, but the prison authorities had seen this pattern many times in the past year. The ward authorities set up a fever camp two days later, on September 19. The initial figures suggested three women were down with COVID-19. In subsequent camps, another 36 people – including six children under the age of six – tested positive. The jail, with close to 300 women prisoners, was soon sealed.
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43 inmates, including at least four children, test positive in Mumbai’s Byculla prison

26/09/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The jail has not been declared a containment zone yet.
The number of inmates who contracted the coronavirus disease in Mumbai’s Byculla prison rose to 43 on Sunday. This includes at least four children, who continue to stay with their mothers…
The prison holds inmates like Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen.
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Also read: Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (the Caravan, June 22, 2021)

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

By Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Press Release
Friends and Family of Sudha Bharadwaj are extremely worried over the alarming and disturbing news of the rising Covid-19 infection in Byculla women’s jail forcing the authorities to seal the premise.
Last week, in a prison supervised phone conversation Koel Sen had with her mother Shoma Sen, former professor of English from Nagpur University, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and incarcerated for the last three years in Byculla prison without trial, it was informed that 20 inmates from the prison were infected, which appears to have now risen to 39!
Three women political prisoners, Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj and Jyoti Jagtap, all arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case for the past three years without trial and bail, are housed in the women’s prison of Byculla jail. Alarmingly, two out of the 20 infected are from the barrack that houses 40 senior women inmates, including 61-year-old Shoma Sen and 59-year-old Sudha Bharadwaj. The barrack of 40 senior citizen women inmates is fully vaccinated, however the virus infection of the two fully vaccinated women has sent fear and concern to all the women inside the prison and their family waiting for them in their homes.

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Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

National Herald / by Satyaki Chakraborty

The situation has got precarious with COVID infection spreading in their barrack in Mumbai’s Byculla Jail. The Stan Swamy case should not be allowed to be repeated.
Bhima Koregaon accused activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj who are languishing in the Byculla Jail of Mumbai after being accused of conspiracy against the state by the National Investigating Agency(NIA), are facing a serious danger to their lives. At least 20 persons have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

20 women, 5 children test Covid positive in Byculla women jail, 10 in male ward

25/09/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

A prison official said that those who tested positive have been shifted to a nearby school. One of the prisoners, who is a senior citizen, has been shifted to a civic hospital. There are over 450 prisoners in Byculla prison.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

23/09/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Both of them have tested negative on the RTPCR test, says DIG.
A senior citizen inmate, lodged in the same barrack as Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen at the Byculla jail, was found COVID-19 positive on Thursday.
Confirming it with The Hindu, DIG Yogesh Desai said, “One senior citizen who was given one dose of vaccination has tested positive and has been shifted to a temporary COVID Center next to the jail.”
He said Ms. Sen and Ms. Bharadwaj have tested negative on the RTPCR test.
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Days after special NIA court rejects Shoma Sen’s medical bail plea, daughter alleges two co-prisoners tested Covid-positive

23/09/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

More than 20 COVID cases reported in Byculla women’s jail.
At least 20 persons have allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Mumbai’s Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen who is presently lodged in the jail. Earlier on Thursday, September 23, 2021, Koel reportedly spoke with her mother Shoma over an official call supervised by the jail superintendent, where she was informed of the same.
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Also read:
Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders / Aug 12, 2021)
Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (The Caravan / June 22, 2021)
‘Left to die’: Families of Bhima Koregaon accused demand their release, say jail conditions poor (The Print / June 12, 2021)