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Category: Prison conditions

Court Allows Activists Phone Calls With Families / Two more move court seeking mosquito nets

Court Allows Activists Phone Calls With Families / Two more move court seeking mosquito nets

Two more accused move court seeking mosquito nets

17/09/2022

Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah

Two more accused in the Elgar Parishad case – Anand Teltumbde and Sagar Gorkhe – have approached the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court seeking mosquito nets while alleging that Taloja jail is infested with mosquitoes.
Two more accused in the Elgar Parishad case – Anand Teltumbde and Sagar Gorkhe – have approached the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court seeking mosquito nets while alleging that Taloja jail is infested with mosquitoes.
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Court Allows Jailed Activists To Talk On Phone With Families

17/09/2022

NDTV / by pti

The accused are currently in judicial custody and lodged at Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai.
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here has permitted activist Anand Teltumbde and five others, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, to have a telephonic conversation with family members for three minutes…
Sudhir Dhavale has filed an application in the court, seeking action against the prison medical officer and the jail authorities for allegedly not providing medical attention to him.
Read more


Also read:
Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net (Scroll.in / Sep 2022)
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration (By Sagar Gorkhe / May 20, 2022)

Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net in prison

Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net in prison

Seeking court’s permission to use a mosquito net !

15/09/2022

madhyamam / by Editorial Desk

Most people will remember that two years ago, an elderly man had to approach the court to seek access to a straw to drink water in prison because he suffered from tremors. Fr Stan Swamy was in jail for leading legal battles for the rights of tribal communities. His punishment included the denial of the basic right to drinking water comfortably… Prominent human rights activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha is a trial prisoner in the same Elgar Parishad case in which Stan Swamy was accused and arrested. Two days ago, Navlakha approached a special NIA court for permission to use mosquito nets in the jail.
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Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net in prison

14/09/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

He filed the application in court days after another accused person, Vernon Gonsalves, contracted dengue in jail.
In his plea, Navlakha told the court that the area in which the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai is located is prone to dengue and malaria. “The applicant [Navlakha] is very troubled due to the influx of mosquitoes at the prison and is unable to sleep at night even after using mosquito repellents,” the plea added.
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Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net

13/09/2022

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

Navlakha’s application filed through lawyers Wahab Khan and Chandni Chawla said that despite these directions passed by the court, Gonsalves contracted dengue and has been unwell since August 31. Gonsalves is currently admitted at state-run J J Hospital.
Days after his co-accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, Vernon Gonsalves, contracted dengue in Taloja Central Jail, activist Gautam Navlakha again approached court seeking a mosquito net. Over the past few months, undertrials at the prison and jail authorities have faced-off over lack of mosquito nets in the prison. In May, jail authorities seized mosquito nets of undertrials stating that the strings and nails used to tie the nets can be a security risk…
Meanwhile, the special court will hear Gonsalves’ application for temporary bail on medical grounds on Friday. The court on Tuesday received a report from JJ Hospital where he is admitted.
Read more


Also read:
NIA court rejects plea to use mosquito nets in prison (The Leaflet / July 2022)
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration (By Sagar Gorkhe / May 20, 2022)

‘No cop was free to take Vernon Gonsalves to JJ hospital due to fest’ / Jailers’ apathy?

‘No cop was free to take Vernon Gonsalves to JJ hospital due to fest’ / Jailers’ apathy?

‘No cop was free to take Vernon Gonsalves to JJ hospital due to fest’

13/09/2022

Times of India / by TNN

Taloja jail authorities have said Elgar Parishad case accused Vernon Gonsalves who tested positive for dengue on September 7 after several days of fever could not be admitted that day since there was no police escort due to Ganeshotsav and he was admitted to state-run JJ hospital on September 8 with an escort.
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Jailers’ apathy? Political prisoners’ right to life in India is ‘almost non-existent’

13/09/2022

Countercurrents / by By Deepika Tandon, Shahana Bhattarcharya (PUDR)

On 8th September Vernon Gonsalves, one of the 16 undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case lodged in the anda cell of Taloja Central Jail, was diagnosed with dengue and likely pneumonia. 
Gonsalves age 65, had been suffering from fever since 30th August, but it took an appeal from his lawyer and the intervention of the Court for the Taloja Jail authorities to shift him to JJ Hospital for treatment. The fact that he was immediately put on oxygen support at the hospital, points to the apathy of the jail authorities regarding the health of prisoners lodged in their custody.
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Medical treatment was provided to activist Vernon Gonsalves in jail, NIA court told

12/09/022

MidDay / by pti

The activist (65), who was in judicial custody and lodged at the Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, was on September 8 admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for dengue.
Activist Vernon Gonsalves, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was under constant medical treatment in jail once his ill health came to light and before he was diagnosed with dengue and admitted to a government hospital, prison authorities told a special NIA court here on Monday…
The activist’s plea for temporary bail on medical grounds is likely to be heard by the court on Tuesday.
Read more


Also read:
Relatives of BK16 Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ and Deteriorating Health of Undertrials (Newsclick / Sep 2022)

MRSD: Release Activist Vernon Gonsalves on immediate Medical bail

MRSD: Release Activist Vernon Gonsalves on immediate Medical bail

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS STATEMENT
Statement by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy – a campaign of 40+ civil society groups

MRSD is distressed to learn about the health situation of 65 year old activist, poet, and writer Vernon Gonsalves, incarcerated since 2018 in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case. Gonsalves started developing several symptoms, such as fever, cough, dizziness, and nausea starting on August 30, as per the affidavit filed by his lawyers in Court. However, his health condition was met with neglect and it was only after pleading several times that he was finally taken to the state-run JJ hospital on September 6. Instead of continuing his treatment there, he was taken back to jail the same day. Upon hearing about this from other co-accused, Gonsalves’ lawyers and family members moved the NIA court seeking temporary bail on medical conditions. During the hearing, the lawyers told the Court that apart from Dengue, he may also be suffering from Pneumonia.

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BK16 Relatives Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ of Undertrials / Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence & State Apathy

BK16 Relatives Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ of Undertrials / Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence & State Apathy

NewsClick / by Relatives and Representatives of the BK16; NewsClick

The relatives and representatives of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case have released a statement drawing attention to the deteriorating health of several undertrials – including Vernon Gonsalves – and the brazen negligence of the prison authorities...

Statement:
In yet another act of criminal negligence, the prison authorities of Taloja Central Jail, Maharashtra, have delayed medical treatment for Vernon Gonsalves, a prominent activist and one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad case.
Gonsalves, who is 65 years old, fell ill with fever on August 30th, and even though his condition was steadily deteriorating, he was treated with just paracetamol and antibiotics in jail, for almost a week. After much pleading, he was taken to JJ hospital on September 7 and was given oxygen support. However, instead of continuing his treatment, he was callously brought back to jail where his condition continued to worsen. It is only after his lawyer and wife, Susan Abraham, approached the court and obtained an order, that the prison authorities finally admitted him to the emergency ward of JJ hospital, where he is still under treatment.

Read full statement


Video: Custodial Violence, Judicial Negligence and State Apathy

12/09/2022

en │ 52min │2022

By The Polis Project

On 5 October 2020, Atikur Rahman, journalist Siddique Kappan, student Masood Ahmad, and taxi driver Mohammad Alam were arrested in Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh in, India They were on their way to meet the family of a Dalit woman who was raped and murdered by a group of men from the dominant caste in Hathras…
The denial of medical treatment and bail must be seen as a part of a larger pattern of abuse of power directed toward dissenters and political prisoners in India. On 5 July 2021, 84-year-old Jesuit priest and human rights defender Father Stan Swamy died in judicial custody at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, India.
Watch video


► Also read/listen: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 And Custodial Apathy In Jails / Audio + Press Release (May 2021)

PUDR: Stop Denying Political Prisoners the Right to Healthcare in Jails / Statement by USCIRF

PUDR: Stop Denying Political Prisoners the Right to Healthcare in Jails / Statement by USCIRF

Stop Denying Political Prisoners the Right to Healthcare in Jails

10/09/2022

By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)

Sep 10, 2022
On  8th September Vernon Gonsalves,  one of the 16 undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case lodged in the anda cell of Taloja Central  Jail, was diagnosed with dengue and likely pneumonia.  Gonsalves age 65, had been suffering from fever since 30th August, but it took an appeal from his lawyer and the intervention of the Court for the Taloja Jail authorities to shift him to JJ Hospital for treatment. The fact that he was immediately put on oxygen support at the hospital, points to the apathy of the Jail authorities regarding the health of prisoners lodged in their custody.
The incident marked the two month anniversary of the Special Court rejecting Gautam Navlakha’s petition for a mosquito net. On 20th May the jail authorities had confiscated the mosquito nets of some inmates housed in the anda cell. Sagar Gorkhe and several others had gone on hunger strike expressing apprehensions about contracting malaria and dengue as Taloja is infested by mosquitos. The abysmal jail facilities and hostility of jail staff added to these fears which have all come true.
Read full statement


by The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (Sep 9):
+++ USCIRF Vice Chair Abraham Cooper: “We are relieved 65-year-old Dalit rights activist Vernon Gonsalves was finally able to receive medical care after being wrongfully denied it for over a week despite the severe deterioration of his health.” ++
+++ USCIRF Commissioner @StephenSchneck: “Medical neglect of prisoners of conscience like Gonsalves & others arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case continues despite the inhumane death of Father Stan Swamy. Pre-trial detention cannot be a de facto death sentence.” ++


Also read:
NIA court rejects plea to use mosquito nets in prison (The Leaflet / July 2022)
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration (By Sagar Gorkhe / May 20)

Vernon Gonsalves Is Latest Victim of Prison Staff’s Medical Neglect

Vernon Gonsalves Is Latest Victim of Prison Staff’s Medical Neglect

NIA court demands explanation from Taloja authorities on delay of treatment

09/09/2022

Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah

Only on September 5 Gonsalves was shifted to prison hospital as his condition had worsened.
The special NIA court on Thursday directed the superintendent of the Taloja Jail to provide proper medical treatment to Vernon Gonsalves, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, who has been diagnosed with dengue.
It has also reprimanded the prison authority for failing to respond to Gonsalves’s plea for medical treatment till Thursday.
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Vernon Gonsalves Is Latest Victim of Prison Staff’s Medical Neglect

08/09/2022

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

JJ Hospital has confirmed that Gonsalves has been suffering from dengue for close to two weeks and that he could have developed pneumonia too.
Over 10 days ago, Vernon Gonsalves, a Mumbai-based human rights activist and one of the 16 persons arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, had a high-grade fever. He fainted several times in jail and at one point couldn’t move. The Taloja central prison staff, however, only administered him paracetamol and refused to refer him to a hospital.
Read more


Vernon Gonsalves on oxygen support after contracting dengue in prison

08/09/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

His wife, lawyer Susan Abraham, told Scroll.in that the 65-year-old undertrial should have been admitted to hospital ‘long back’.
Activist Vernon Gonsalves, who is among those accused in the Elgar Parishad case, is on oxygen support in Mumbai’s JJ Hospital after contracting dengue in prison, his wife, lawyer Susan Abraham, told Scroll.in on Thursday.
Read more


Pandu Narote’s Death: A Reminder of Stan Swamy’s Demise, GN Saibaba’s Struggles

08/09/2022

The Quint / by Mekhala Saran

When Pandu Narote died on 25 August, once again questions arose regarding the treatment of ailing inmates.
In February 2020, granting bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Varavara Rao, on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court had noted that “sending him back to prison is fraught with risk.”
… In May, 2021, while the second wave of COVID-19 wreaked devastation across the country, the family and friends of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, who have been lodged in Mumbai’s Taloja and Byculla jail, held a press conference drawing attention to the purportedly dangerous living conditions there. These included overcrowding, the lack of medical care, paucity of clean water, and flimsy access to basic human rights.
Read more


► Also read/listen: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 And Custodial Apathy In Jails / Audio + Press Release (May 2021)
► Also read: Crowded Jails & COVID: 16 Bhima Koregaon Accused’s Kin Share Fears (The Quint / May 2021)

NIA court allows activist Jyoti Jagtap to receive books in prison

NIA court allows activist Jyoti Jagtap to receive books in prison

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

Judge Rajesh J Kataria directed the Byculla jail superintendent to verify the books before handing them over to her.
A special National Investigation Agency court in Mumbai on Monday allowed activist Jyoti Jagtap to receive five educational or general books every month inside the city’s Byculla prison, PTI reported.
Read more


Also read:
Yet to get money from Maharashtra govt to buy new books for library as asked by HC, say Taloja prison authorities (MidDay / July 2022)
Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Hany Babu denied books in jail, lawyer tells court (Scroll.in / Dec 2022)

Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail

Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail

Drawing by Arun Ferreira
Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Scroll.in / by Umang Poddar

They are often denied items of food and clothing that other inmates are allowed to access.
Over the past few weeks, prison authorities in Maharashtra have denied basic amenities such as mosquito nets and telephone facilities to undertrials in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, which pertains to caste violence as well as an alleged attempt to assassinate the prime minister. Nearly five years later, even as independent reports have pointed to the fact that the electronic devices of the accused were hacked using military-grade spyware available only to governments, the trial in the case is yet to begin.
Read more


Also read:
Sipper and straw, to mosquito nets and phone calls: Elgar accused in court for relief (The Indian Express / Jul 2022)
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration (By Sagar Gorkhe / May 20)

On 5th birthday in jail, friends wish for Shoma Sen’s release

On 5th birthday in jail, friends wish for Shoma Sen’s release

Shoma Sen

Times of India / by Shishir Arya

“On your 5th birthday in incarceration, Shoma…we will fight for justice,” says a post by Tusharkanti Bhattacharya, for his wife who is one of the 16 accused in Bhima Koregaon case. With the message he also posted her picture that was published in a Bengali journal Azaadi which carried an article on various political prisoners.
On Monday, Shoma Sen, a Nagpur University professor when arrested five years ago, turned 64.
Read more


Also read:
Part 1: ‘It is very difficult to see my mother like this’ (Rediff.com / May 2022)
Part 2: When Your Mother Is In Prison… (Rediff.com / May 2022)
Part 3:’I have to get Ma out of prison’ (Rediff.com / June 2022)