Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea, lodged in Byculla jail here, `instigated’ inmates of staging a protest to seek legal and media access inside the prison after the death of a woman convict, a prison official claimed today. Indrani has been named as an accused in a case of rioting and unlawful assembly inside the jail along with Divya Pahuja, an accused in Haryana gangster Sandeep Gadholi encounter case, and others. Indrani and Divya were behind the protest inside the jail, the official claimed. Manju Shette, a woman inmate, was allegedly beaten up on June 23 by jail staff for failing to account for two eggs and five ‘paav’ (bread loaves) meant for distribution to inmates as she was assisting jail staff as a warden.
After Manju’s death, Indrani, Divya and other inmates including Shahnaz Maniyar, Vaishali Mudle, Hasina Shaikh, Mariam Shaikh and around 200 others began a protest on June 24 for their demands, which included making available a lawyer and allowing media access inside the jail, police said. On June 26 Indrani complained of body pain and was taken to the hospital, the prison official said. There was nothing abnormal in her medical reports and she was sent back after being given some tablets, he said. Manju, sentenced to 14 years’ rigorous imprisonment in a murder case, had served around 13 years. She had requested jail authorities to shift her to Kalyan prison in adjoining Thane district, the official added.
The special CBI court today allowed Indrani to approach the police to lodge her complaint that she was beaten up and threatened with sexual assault by jail officials for joining the protest over Shette’s death.
Indrani told the court that she was threatened and assaulted after she said that she would give a statement in connection with Shette’s death.