Indrani Mukerjea to be queried in jail inmate's death case



Former media baron and one of the prime accused in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, Indrani Mukerjea will be questioned in connection with the death of a female inmate in Byculla Women's Prison.

Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil said this in the assembly on Friday.

Indrani is one of the accused in a case of rioting on June 24 inside the jail premises along with several others, following the death of a life convict-cum-jail warden Manjula Shetye, the previous evening, on June 23.

Indrani complained to the Special CBI Court that she was threatened with rape and was assaulted after she decided to give her statement as a witness in connection with Shetye's death.

Replying to the issue raised by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member Jayant Patil in the house on Friday, seeking an impartial enquiry into the incident, Ranjit Patil said besides questioning Indrani, the government would initiate strict action against the doctors of Sir J.J. Hospital who gave false reports on Shetye's death.

Accusing the government of adopting a negligent attitude towards prison management, Jayant Patil stressed the need to increase the number of prisons in the state.

He pointed out that women inmates in the state's jails are regularly subjected to sexual assaults and asked the government to probe the condition of jails across the state.

Shetye, who was serving the final few months of her 14-year lifer for killing her sister-in-law in 1996, as a warden had complained about some missing rations from the jail kitchen stocks in June.

Thereafter, she was summoned by some women jail officials and brutally assaulted. She succumbed to her injuries on June 23, which sparked off a riot in the prison the following morning (June 24).

Moving swiftly, the government suspended and later arrested for murder six prison officials, including Jailor Manisha Pokharkar, who are in judicial custody till Saturday (July 29).

The incidents, which attracted national attention, saw the Maharashtra State Women's Commission launching its separate probe and a visit by a 20-member Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women on July 13. - IANS