Maharashtra: 3 undertrail prisoners die at Yarwada jail; families protest

Yerwada is one of the largest prisons in south Asia. | TCN Photo

On January 2, the families of the persons staged a protest outside the Yerwada jail premises in Pune, Maharashtra. 

Sana Ejaz | 

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NEW DELHI — Three undertrial prisoners of the Yerwada Central Jail of Maharashtra’s Pune city died at a government hospital on December 31 prompting protests by their families.

Three undertrail prisoners Sandesh Gondekar, Shahrukh Sheikh, and Ranganath Datal died in Sassoon General hospital of seperate ailments, according to officials quoted by PTI. 

On January 2, the families of the persons staged a protest outside the jail premises. They alleged that they had been kept in the dark regarding the fact that their imprisoned relatives had been moved to the hospital for treatment.

Yerawada police station officials said the three inmates died on December 31 at Sassoon General hospital where they were undergoing treatment for different ailments.

Police sub-inspector Ashok Kate from Yerawada police station said, “All of them were undergoing treatment at Sassoon General Hospital. One of them died due to HIV infection while the other two had been hospitalized for chest pain and low blood pressure and died during treatment. We have registered a case of accidental death and further investigation is on.” Hindustan Times reported.

However, their families have contested this claim and asked for a detailed inquiry into the causes of their respective deaths.

Two others, Sandesh Gondekar, and Shahrukh Sheikh were admitted to Sassoon on December 31, the same day on which they passed away. 

‘India’s problem of excessive undertrail detentions’
Yerwada is one of the largest prisons in south Asia. All undertrails in the Elgar Parishad case are also lodged at Yerwada. 

India has one of the highest undertrial prisoners in the world. According to data from data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), “among the 5,54,034 inmates across India’s prisons, 77.1% were under-trials and 22.2% were those who had been convicted by a court of law.” 

In 2017, Amnesty International India blamed governments for more than two thirds of prisoners in the country being undertrials and advocated strict enforcement of existing laws and policies to ensure their rights.

Sana Ejaz is an independent journalist from Bihar. She tweets @SanaEjaz_