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6 women Byculla jail staffers accused in Manju Shete’s death, seek bail

Mumbai: A day after the police informed the Bombay High Court that Byculla jail inmate Manju Shette died after falling in the toilet, six jail officials arrested on charge of her murder, on Tuesday, moved bail application in the sessions court.

In the bail application filed through their lawyer Pankaj Bafna, the arrested officials contended that they need bail as they have small children to look after.

They have also said that contrary to the claim that rod was inserted in Shette’s private parts the investigation found nothing of that sort.

Bafna said the complainant and other inmates are continuously changing statement.

“The police on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it was a case of accident and not murder on this ground we have sought bail,” said Bafna.

Manisha Pokharkar, Wasima Shaikh, Shital Shegokar, Surekha Gulve, Aarti Shingne and Bindu Naikade were arrested last month for assaulting Shette and causing her death.

The court is likely to hear the plea on August 4. Shette (45), serving life sentence, died in the hospital on June 23 after she was allegedly beaten up by the jail staff.

On June 24, women inmates, including Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, resorted to violent protest in the prison.

The plea further stated that Indrani and others “masterminded” the false case to gain advantage out of a personal grudge against public servants.

The applicants said on the day of the incident they noticed Indrani was standing in front of the main gate and giving physical indications as well as hints to other inmates, and when she was asked what she was doing she didn’t reply and later started screaming.

Later, around 200 inmates surrounded the jail officials and started pushing and assaulting them.

“Indrani instigated and planned the entire riot and influenced all other inmates into rebelling and assaulting the jail authorities by making them believe that they (jail staff) had killed the woman inmate (Shette) and that it’s time to take revenge for her death,” the application said.

Indrani and many other inmates charged towards the jail staff carrying plates, bowls, clothes and other articles they could lay their hands on and started throwing them.

While the six jail officials and other station house officers tried to pacify and control the inmates by requesting them to return to their barracks, Indrani did not stop and on her instructions all the inmates started hitting the jail authorities including the accused, the application said.

Some inmates entered the record room of the prison and destroyed many government documents, computers, and tables by setting them on fire with the help of a matchbox, it said.

They also manhandled the jail authorities by tearing their uniforms. Indrani then surrounded the six accused and started hitting them with chappals and bottles, the application said.

Indrani then ran towards the main gate and instructed other inmates to break open the main gate and run away from the prison, it said, adding that she was constantly yelling and telling the inmates to hit whichever jail authority comes in front of them.

PTI