“They keep calling me a terrorist and beat me”: Ishrat Jahan, jailed in Delhi riots case

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Former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, who is arrested under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a northeast Delhi riots case, has alleged before a court in Delhi that she was beaten up by inmates at Mandoli jail and was continuously facing harassment in prison.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat directed the jail authorities to take immediate steps to ensure Jahan’s security and ensure that she was not harassed further for bringing her complaints before the court, PTI reported.

The court sought a detailed report from the prison authorities on Wednesday on the steps that have been taken to address the issue and to also state if shifting to her to another jail was required.

When the judge asked the Assistant Superintendent of Mandoli jail whether such an incident has occurred, she confirmed it and said necessary steps have been taken.

To this, the judge told the jail official, “She (Jahan) seems to be in a state of utter fear. Please talk to her immediately and understand the situation. File a detailed report about the steps taken to allay her apprehension and her fear.”

“Take all the necessary steps. Take immediate steps. I don’t want to hear that the accused was further harassed by her inmates or anybody else because she complained. I do not want to hear that the present accused is harmed in any way.”

It also directed the prison authorities to produce her before the court on Wednesday through video conferencing.

While making the submissions directly to the court, Jahan said it was the second incident within one month and was under immense stress due to the continuous harassment, physically and verbally.

“This is the second incident in a month. In the morning today at 6:30 am, they (inmates) beat me badly and abused me verbally. One of the inmates even slit her hand so that I am punished on a false complaint. Fortunately, the jail officials did not listen to them. I have given a written complaint also. They keep calling me a terrorist. They also demanded money from me in the canteen,” Ms Jahan alleged.

She further alleged that she has been facing harassment in jail for the past four months and had requested to be shifted to Tihar prison but it was refused due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Advocate Pradeep Teotia, appearing for Ms Jahan, further alleged that previously she was beaten up by her inmates earlier as well, following which one of the inmates was shifted to another jail.

“One of the inmates beat her up badly previously. A complaint was filed before the Deputy Superintendent and that inmate was shifted to another jail. There are two ladies in her prison cell who beat her up today. While she was offering her morning prayers, they objected to it and started abusing her and beating her,” Mr Teotia alleged.

Advocate Misbah Bin Tariq, who was also present at the hearing, requested the court to take immediate action and view her situation with urgency as Ms Jahan was a member of the advocates’ bar.

Ms Jahan further said she was suffering from some medical condition for which she has not been taken to a hospital nor any tests conducted.

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