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Woman prisoner dies after 5 constables assaulted her, inserted lathi into private parts

Manjula Shetye, the prisoner who died after the assault. Courtesy: HT

Mumbai: Five lady constables have been booked for murdering a convict Manjula Shetye. The 38-year-old was assaulted, stripped before one of the constables inserted lathi into her private parts. She was left bleeding thereafter.

According to the documents, the trouble started at 9 am on June 23, when Manjula, who was made warden of her barracks because of her good behaviour, found that the rations fell short by two eggs and five pieces of pav (bread), reported HT.

As per the FIR registered, on complaining about the shortage of ration, Manjula was called to the jail officer Manisha Pokharkar’s private room “Soon a group of jailors came to the barracks and assaulted her,” said the witness to the investigating police officer.
“Manjula was stripped by women constables she identified as Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne…Bindu and Surekha then held Manjula’s legs apart and Waseema inserted the lathi into her private parts,” quoted the statement.

Manjula was left bleeding in pain and no help was offered to her by the jail authorities until she felt unconscious in the bathroom and then she was taken to a hospital, where she died. The post-mortem examination report from JJ hospital stated that Manjula had about 11 to 13 contusions all over her body. The dean of JJ hospital, TP Lahane, said the woman’s lungs were damaged.

The incident outraged the other inmates and they started to stage a protest. Indrani Mukerjea, a former media person, who is the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case was booked, along with 200 others for instigating inmates of the jail for rioting.

Manjula was serving life imprisonment for murdering her sister-in-law Vidya Shetye. Her mother Godavari Shetye too had been convicted but had died. On January 4, 1996, Manjula poured kerosene over Vidya, while the Godavari pushed Vidya towards a burning stove. This caused 100 per cent burns to Vidya who died on January 8, 1996. Vidya’s dying declaration had seen a sessions court convict Manjula and Godavari, which was later upheld by the Bombay High Court on October 8, 2009.