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Delhi HC told: 51 women undertrial prisoners released on bail

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court was on Monday informed by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) that 51 women out of 152 women under trial prisoners, who have been languishing in Tihar jail for more than six months or completed half of their sentences in lesser offences, have been released on bail.

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Filing an affidavit before a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, the DLSA said that in Jail No.6 at Tihar, there were 105 women under trial prisoners who were facing charges other than murder, rape, culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). There were 47 women undertrial prisoners who have completed half of the period of their sentences in lesser offences in case of multiple offences, the affidavit said.

Undertrial Review Committees have already been constituted in all districts of Delhi in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directions in April 2015, the affidavit said. Out of 47 women undertrial prisoners, 11 have been granted bail by trial courts. “Out of 105 undertrial prisoners lodged in Jail No.6, a total of 40 undertrial prisoners have been granted bail,” said the affidavit filed by member secretary Dharmesh Sharma of DLSA. The DLSA response came on a bunch of PILs over the plight of 152 women undertrial prisoners not involved in heinous crimes but languishing in Tihar for over six months due to tardy disposal of cases.

(IANS)

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Quantum of sentence in Mumbai train blasts case today

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Mumbai: The quantum of sentence in the Mumbai train blasts case, that ripped the city’s consciousness apart nine years ago, is set to be delivered today by a special MCOCA court, with the prosecution, reportedly, considering to argue death penalty for eight of the 12 convicts.

According to some media reports the prosecution might ask for the maximum punishment, the death penalty, for eight convicts including the bomb planters and the ones who are more educated. Among those with good education are- Dr Tanveer Ansari, Asif Khan Bashir Khan, a civil engineering diploma holder and Mohammed Ali Shaikh, a Unani medicine seller. Reports say that those convicts with slightly lesser hand in the blasts might be shown leniency

Off_the_railsThe Mumbai train blasts resulted in the death of 189 commuters as RDX explosives blew seven Western Railway suburban trains.

Earlier, an eight-year-long trial concluded on August 19, 2014 and Special Judge Y.D. Shinde is set to pronounce his judgement against 13 prime accused in the case which left Mumbai dazed.

Special Judge Shinde has directed the police to produce all accused before the court before noon on Friday.

 

Over 800 people were left severely injured apart from the 189 people who lost their lives on the evening of July 11, 2006, from 6.23 p.m. onwards – the peak hour when the suburban trains are choked with commuters going home.

The seven bombs went off in trains at Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Mira Road stations spanning Mumbai and Thane districts.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) had claimed that the suspects were Pakistan’s ISI, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the banned SIMI, who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the terror attacks.

The trial started in June 2007, but was stayed in February 2008 after one of the 13 accused, Kamal Ansari challenged the phrase ‘promoting insurgency’ in defining organised crime in the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) as ‘unconstitutional’.

In April 2010, the SC dismissed his petition and paved the way for the trial to resume.

Later, in December 2012, the Bombay High Court directed the police to grant access to telephone call date records which pointed out that four of those who are alleged to have planted it were not in the vicinity of Churchgate station or the blasts sites that evening.

The 13 accused are: Kamal Ansari, Dr. Tanvir Ansari, Mohammed Faisal Sheikh, Ehtesham Siddiqui, Mohammed Majid Shafi, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Alam Sheikh, Mohammed Sajid Ansari, Abdul Sheikh, Muzammil Sheikh, Soheil Sheikh, Zameer Sheikh, Naveed Hussein Khan and Asif Khan alias Junaid.

The ATS alleged that some of them were in contact with the LeT in Pakistan and had carried out the blasts.

Police said that highly sophisticated explosives ripped through mainly the first class compartments of the seven local trains, all headed in the northern direction.

While two blasts occurred when the crowded trains neared Borivali and Mahim stations, the others took place when they were leaving the stations or while running to their destinations.

The explosions carried out by around 15-20 kg of RDX, were so powerful that they blew off the double-layered steel roofs and walls of the seven train compartments.

During the marathon trial, the prosecution produced 188 witnesses, including many commuters, survivors, doctors, police personnel and others, with their deposition running into nearly 5,500 pages.

The lengthy trial saw the deposition by around 190 prosecution witnesses, among whom were commuters who were on the ill-fated trains.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Delhi serial rapist-killer sent to judicial custody

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New Delhi: A court here on Thursday sent serial killer and rapist Ravinder Kumar to Tihar Jail till August 5, declining the police plea for four days custody.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav remanded Kumar in 14 days judicial custody after he was presented before him, observing the accused was in police custody from last seven days and investigation in the particular case has been completed.

“Investigating officer is directed to inform the concerned police station about the cases, in which, the accused has made disclosure statements and thereafter it would be the job of the investigating officer of the concerned police station to seek custody of the accused, if required,” the court said while denying police plea for custody.

The accused told the court that he feared for his life in jail, upon which the judge told him to inform the jail superintendent.

Meanwhile, one man tried to assault Kumar as he was being taken to the lock up from the court room, but police stopped him midway.

Kumar, who hails from Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh but lives in Delhi, has admitted to raping and murdering more than 30 children in and around the city. He said he used to lure children with candies.

Police has sought four days custody on the grounds that on Wednesday the accused has made disclosure statement about 16 more similar crimes, in respect of the area adjoining police station Begamapura. Police added the accused had disclosed his involvement in another similar crime in Bahadurgarh which had to be identified.

(IANS)

 

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Tihar jail: Prisoners raped, forced to remain silent

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Rapes are one of the most vicious crimes and now it seems that inmates in Tihar jail, the largest prison complex in South Asia, are being forced to keep mum despite being sexually assaulted.

In fact, Tihar authorities are often unwilling to even share details of such incidents, said sources at west Delhi’s Hari Nagar police station under whose jurisdiction the Central prison falls.

As per police data accessed by IANS, one case of rape with a male inmate was filed at the police station on May 10, 2015 while seven cases were registered last year.

Surprisingly, in 2013, 2011 and in 2010, no case of same sex rape was lodged. In 2012, police registered just one such case.

Sexual abuse is a real nightmare in the prison, according to Tihar jail sources.

“In spite of several prison reform sessions organised for inmates by Tihar jail authorities, the prison is a cruel place, especially for those who cannot defend themselves against bullies and predators,” said a former Tihar inmate, who was raped by other inmates during his jail term in a case of robbery.

Mukesh Prasad, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG), prisons, told IANS, “Cases of sodomy do occur in Tihar but the number is very low unlike the assumption in the outside world that it’s a rampant practice.”

The DIG said the overcrowded prison did not have space for such abuse.

“As the jail is overcrowded, it is very difficult for such kind of incidents to take place. But whenever we get a complaint, we take action and lodge a complaint with the police station,” he said.

A murder accused, who is out on bail, claimed that organised gangs were operating in Tihar jail who rape inmates at will.

“Rival gang members do not lose a single occasion to take revenge on other gang members. Inmates have to stay in groups while stepping out of cells to avoid getting caught by rival gangs or by an aggressive inmate,” he told IANS.

Former Tihar jail director general (DG) Kiran Bedi, known for her prison reforms, blames the authorities for the rape cases inside jail premises.

“Incidents of coercive sex and sodomy do take place in Tihar. CCTV cameras installed inside the jails ensure that all inmate movements are recorded. If rapes still happen, it means that the CCTV footage is not being monitored properly,” Bedi told IANS.

She said prisoners from a prosperous background manage to pay their way through and stay safe. But it is a different story for the poor and the physically weak.

“We have used education, sports and yoga to keep prisoners busy. They (prisons officials) are distracted with too many rich people there (in jail). Their attention is diverted by these rich people.

“Some people are bought out completely. When people are bought, what can the leadership do? Prisoners have to be kept in a normal routine to keep their focus away from negative thoughts,” Bedi added.

She said the authorities should also interview each prisoner so that such criminal acts can be stopped.

Apart from the money and muscle power of gangs, the culture of hyper-masculinity in prisons makes a sodomy victim the target of derision among fellow prisoners.

“Many learn to live with the pain and abuse and keep silent because of being threatened with dire consequences. Others sometimes become ‘prostitutes’ trading their bodies for protection. Some do it to earn cash or drugs,” a police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The source said prisoners are tortured in a variety of ways apart from sodomy.

“Some dreaded and habitual offenders (inmates) always search for new victims. Other inmates cheer while watching the rapes,” the source said.

For some unfortunate ones, the torture never stops.

A prison official, who handled the December 16, 2012 main accused Ram Singh, recalls him trembling while asking the guards about his safety: “Will I be safe there in the prison? Will the inmates do something to me?”

Singh’s lawyer complained a number of times to the court that his client was being routinely raped in prison. Vinay Sharma, another accused in the same case, also said that he was raped on several occasions.

Eventually, Singh committed suicide due to unknown reasons. Last year, the Delhi High Court had asked the Delhi government and Tihar authorities to hold consultations and suggest ways to improve the prisoners’ condition.

A National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report, based on data collected from Indian prisons between 2007 and 2011, revealed that a majority of suicides in the jails were because of same-sex rapes by fellow prisoners.

The report was prompted by the suicide of an accused in the Delhi gang rape case of December 2012 in Tihar jail.

(With inputs from IANS)