Five jail officials, arrested for their alleged roles in beating a woman inmate at Byculla prison to death, were remanded in police custody till July 7 by a Mumbai court today. The accused — Manisha Pokharkar, Wasima Shaikh, Shital Shegokar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne — were produced in the Esplanade metropolitan magistrate’s court today after their arrest yesterday. Another accused, Bindu Naikde, was remanded in police custody till July 7 yesterday itself. All six have been suspended by the prison department.
Death of Manju Shette, an inmate at Byculla women’s prison in central Mumbai, had triggered protests by other prisoners. The police, which have registered a muder case following the death of the woman jail inmate following the allegd assault by the six woman officials of the jail, had said they wanted to examine the role of each of the accused.
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Shette, 45 died at the government-run J J Hospital on June 23 following alleged beatings by jail staffers after she failed to account for two eggs and five loaves of bread which she was supposed to distribute to other inmates. Her death had triggered a protest by around 200 inmates of the jail on June 24 with some of them climbing atop the prison’s roof and others making a bonfire of newspapers to vent out their anger. Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in Sheena Bora murder case, too was allegedly among the protesting inmates. The police have registered a case of rioting as well against her and others.