Our Son's Life is in Danger: Father-Mother of Muslim Prisoner Branded with 'Om' Symbol in Tihar Jail
Mumtaz Alam | India Tomorrow
New Delhi, April 21— Father and mother of the Muslim prisoner who was burn-stamped with ‘Om’ symbol allegedly by a jail superintendent inside the high-security Tihar jail are in shock and pain. Even as the court has issued a notice to the jail authorities, the family expressed apprehension that their son could be killed inside the jail.
“I am feeling sad and pained. Injustice has been down with my son. It’s too much. Should that happen? Will you change anyone’s religion? They have not done right with my son,” says Zareena Begum, mother of under-trial prisoner Nabbir @Shabbir.
She alleged that the accused jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan even threatened to kill or get killed her son.
“He (jail official) even threatened that if he had power he would have killed him or got him killed. He forced him to observe fasting on navratra. He branded ‘Om’ on his back and burnt his lower parts of the back with cigarette butts. I want justice with my son. I can’t do anything. The court should give justice to my son. I will accept court’s order. Judge is good. He immediately took action on the plea of our lawyer,” said Zareena while sitting outside the chamber of her lawyer.
Muslim prisoner Nabbir alias Shabbir was branded with 'Om' symbol allegedly by jail superintendent in Tihar, Delhi.
According to the family, the incident took place in Tihar’s jail no. 4 on April 12. The prisoner passed on the information to his family who later approached their lawyer. The lawyer visited the jail, met the prisoner and got details. He also took a photo of the burn marks on the back of the prisoner.
Prisoner’s father Mohammad Ayyub says that his son’s life is in danger even though he has been shifted to another jail.
“My son informed us that jail superintendent is terrorising him and his life is in danger. When I got to know about the burning, I sent my lawyer to jail to meet my son. He told the lawyer all the details. The lawyer filed petition in the court. The judge took immediate action. But the jail authorities have not yet given any reply. I am terrified. If he can do this with my son he can do it with other prisoners also. My son’s life is in danger. The jail superintendent has threatened him to kill him or get him killed. He said he has so much clout. My son has been shifted to jail no. 1 from jail no. 4 but who will give us guarantee that he will be safe there because the official has threatened him,” said the father.
Court Orders Enquiry
After visiting the prisoner, Adv. Jagmohan, family’s counsel, filed petition in the court on April 17. The court ordered enquiry by DGP, Tihar Jail and sought report by April 18.
The court order reads:
“The accused has been subjected to cruelty and inhuman treatment in jail by the jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan. It is alleged that on 12.04.2019, Jail Superintendent had burn imprinted symbol ‘Om’ on the back of accused and has also deprived him from food for two days…”.
“The allegations raised by accused are of serious nature and required immediate intervention. In view of same, notice is being issued to DGP, Prisoner, Head Quarter, Tihar Jail No. 4, New Delhi to get the medical examination of accused Nabbir conducted with immediate effect and also to make enquiry report regarding the burn imprinted ‘Om’ mark on the person of the accused. Necessary CCTV footage be collected and statement of other inmates be also taken in this regard,” the court ordered.
“It is further directed that necessary arrangements be made to ensure the safety of accused in jail and he be immediately removed from the direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan. Let the report be filed by 18.04.2019,” ordered the court.
No Reply from Jail to Court yet, Next Hearing on April 22: Lawyer
The court ordered enquiry on April 17 and sought report by next day. However, three days have passed, the jail authorities have neither appeared in the court nor have submitted any reply, prisoner’s counsel Adv. Jagmohan said.
“The main accused is jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan and his 2-3 associates. Nabbir @Shabbir said he will identity them when brought before him. We have mentioned this in our petition before the court. The court has sought response from jail authorities. They were asked to file response by April 18 but they couldn’t, the matter was called twice but none from the jail appeared nor did they file any written reply. The next date of hearing is April 22,” said the lawyer.
He said the guilty official can be prosecuted under various sections like 326, 342 and for hurting religious sentiment.