Cherlapalli jail inmates ‘counselled’, activists demand probe,

Cherlapalli jail inmates ‘counselled’, activists demand probe,

Hyderabad: Suspense surrounds an incident that happened behind the fortified walls of Cherlapalli Jail on Friday, April 12, as a few inmates were allegedly tortured by jail authorities.

The incident took place at around 7.30 pm on Friday evening, April 12, when the CCTV cameras were reportedly switched off in Sanjeevani Block and Manasa Block barracks, where inmates Avez, Farid, Zaheer, Yousuf and Ibrahim were lodged.

Social activists SQ Masood, Sarah Mathew, Kaneez Fathima, Khalida Parveen, the Human Rights Forum’s (HRF) Jeevan Kumar and Bilal have alleged that the undertrial prisoners were subjected to physical violence by prison authorities as a result of continuing their fast on April 12, a day after Eid-Ul-Fitr.

They claimed that ten personnel under the supervision of the jail superintendent subjected the prisoners to severe blows and that the condition of Ibrahim and Farid was serious.

Santhosh Roy, the superintendent of the jail has affirmed that the inmates in question were “habitual jailbirds” who were addicted to contraband substances and were demanding the jail authorities to make them available for them.

Speaking with Siasat.com, Roy said that inmates Ibrahim Khaleel and Fareed Quadri have been in and out of jail for the past 10-12 years, and were earlier lodged at Chanchalguda Jail two months ago.

“They would demand and blackmail the armed reserve constables and jail authorities to provide them substances like sleeping pills, or to admit them in Gandhi Hospital or Osmania General Hospital, where they can somehow get the substances delivered to them through their friends and relatives. As they were giving the jail officials a tough time there, they were shifted to Cherlapalli Jail,” he said.

Roy said that after “remaining calm” for a while, they started repeating the same inside Cherlapalli jail as well and that despite repeated counselling, these two inmates, along with other inmates named Zaheer, Awez Ali, and Yousuf Sharif, started “threatening, blackmailing, physically and orally abusing” the jail officials.

“We treated them as per law. They were not injured but they were trying to spread havoc and panic, so we isolated them from the rest of the inmates. The victims are the jail officials here,” he claimed.

When asked whether they could be taken to a government hospital outside the hospital for treatment, Roy said that unless the doctors find it very urgent, treatment is usually given within the jail premises.

The activists sounded an alarm over the alleged custodial torture. They demanded that the inmates be shifted to Gandhi or Osmania Hospitals for treatment. As chief minister A Revanth Reddy is also holding the home portfolio, HRF activists are demanding a departmental inquiry into the incident.

Social activists have also written to the Telangana state legal services authority and the district legal services authority, requesting them to assess the current conditions and treatment of all prisoners and to preserve the evidence of the suspected assault of the inmates.

They also requested appropriate legal and corrective measures against any personnel found to have violated their duties, and to provide safeguards to prevent any further abuse or retaliation against these inmates or others within the facility.