BHOPAL: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today started recording the statements of some jailed SIMI suspects, days after their relatives moved it alleging that the undertrials were being tortured and forced to chant "anti-Islamic" slogans.
"A team of the NHRC landed in Bhopal yesterday and recorded the statements of the relatives of the undertrials allegedly having links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)," Parvez Alam, advocate of one of the jailed men, told PTI today.
"The panel is recording the statements of my clients today to corroborate what their family members have told it a day earlier. Myself along with Syed Sajid Ali, Mohammed Farooq, Deepchand Yadav, Varsha Lohare, advocates of other SIMI suspects, have met the rights' team," he added.
"We have told the rights' panel headed by NHRC Senior Superintendent of Police Pupul Dutta Prasad comprising two others that our clients are not getting water and meals properly in jail," Alam said.
They are being beaten up and wrongly confined to the cells despite the fact that they were not convicts, he said.
According to the jail manual, undertrials cannot be confined to cells, he said.
The SIMI suspects have not even taken baths for the last two months and are wearing dirty clothes.
"We are not being allowed to meet our clients in the jail," he further alleged.
"We have told the NHRC delegation all these things," he added.
Alam said that 21 SIMI suspects, who are being tried were lodged in the Central Jail. Besides, nine SIMI men have been brought to the prison here from Indore recently.
Jail Superintendent Dinesh Nargava, however, denied that ill-treatment was being meted out to the SIMI suspects.
"We have provided the documents and evidences against the allegations to NHRC's delegation," he added.
Asked for how long the rights' panel would be in Bhopal, he said it is likely to stay until June 23.
On May 24, wives and other relatives of 21 SIMI suspects had met NHRC member Justice (retired) D Murugesan in New Delhi and complained that the undertrials were being brutally beaten and threatened with death by jail authorities.
Farzana, wife of SIMI suspect Mohammed Adil had told media after meeting the rights panel in the national capital that her husband is being tortured and forced to chant antiIslamic slogans.
The kin of the jailed undertrials had said the illtreatment had intensified after the alleged encounter killing of 8 SIMI suspects hours after they broke out of the Bhopal jail in Madhya Pradesh on October 31 last year.