Byculla inmate death: DIG steps down as WhatsApp messages spark row

The probe has now been handed over to Special Inspector General (Prisons) Rajvardhan Sinha, a senior official said.

Published: 07th July 2017 07:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2017 09:16 PM   |  A+A-

jail, prison, behind bars

Image for representational purpose only.

By PTI

MUMBAI: With her WhatsApp messages seeking 'support' for six jail staffers arrested in connection with the death of an inmate at Byculla prison going viral, Maharashtra DIG (Prisons) Swati Sathe has withdrawn herself from the case.

The officer was today relieved by the authorities from conducting the departmental inquiry. The probe has now been handed over to Special Inspector General (Prisons) Rajvardhan Sinha, a senior official said.

Talking to PTI, Bhushankumar Upadhyay, Additional Director General of Prisons, said, "After the WhatsApp message episode, DIG Sathe was relieved on her request and the probe handed over to Special Inspector General (Prisons) Rajvardhan Sinha."

"On July 2, Sathe had posted three messages in the WhatsApp group 'Maharashtra Karagruha', in which she made an appeal to her colleagues in the prisons department to support the arrested staffers, whom she called as 'sisters'," another official said.

As the messages went viral, Sathe was criticised for seeking support for the jail staff who are facing murder charges in connection with the death of Manju Shette.

According to the official, a letter demanding action against Sathe was sent to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis by a former jail superintendent along with the screenshots of her WhatsApp messages.

"This morning, Sathe wrote a letter to Bhushankumar Upadhyay, requesting him to relieve her from the inquiry of the prison staff in connection with Manju Shette's death," the official said.

Sathe was unavailable for comments.

Shette (45) died at the J J Hospital on June 23 after being allegedly beaten up by the Byculla jail officials and staff as she "failed" to account for two eggs and five loaves of bread, which were distributed by her to the inmates, police had said.

The police had registered a case of murder against the jail officials. On Saturday, the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police arrested all the six accused -- Manisha Pokharkar, Wasima Shaikh, Shital Shegokar, Surekha Gulve, Aarti Shingne and Bindu Naikade.

Shette's death had sparked protests in the prison with over 200 prisoners, including Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea, being booked for rioting.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp