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Maharashtra orders investigation after jailed activist Gautam Navlakha denied glasses


Maharashtra Interior Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered an investigation into allegations that activist Gautam Navlakha, charged in the Bhima Koregaon case, was denied the glasses sent by his family by prison authorities after his partner was “stolen”, adding that the situation should have been solved more “sensibly”.

The move comes two days after the Bombay High Court criticized authorities at Navi Mumbai Taloja Jail for refusing to hand over a pair of glasses to the activist.

“The Bhima-Koregaon case accused Gautam Navlakha that the prison authorities denied him the glasses because they refused to accept a package sent by his family. I have ordered an investigation into this matter. I think that this situation should have been handled humanely and such incidents should be avoided in the future, ”Deshmukh said.

“If the family has sent their glasses, they should be given to them. We need to handle these things with more sensitivity ”, added the minister.

The 70-year-old activist faces charges under the Illicit Activities (Prevention) Act. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has alleged that until August 2018, he was a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a banned group. He is currently housed in the Taloja prison.

Navlakha’s partner, Sahba Hussain, had alleged that the activist’s glasses were stolen inside the prison and that the prison authorities did not allow his family to send a new partner.

Taking note of the matter, the court of Judges SS Shinde and MS Karnik said on Tuesday: “According to news reports, Navlakha lost his glasses in prison and when his family sent him a new pair, the prison authorities refused to accept them. “

“Can these (glasses) be denied?” Asked the bank. “These are human considerations. Humanity is the most important thing, everything else will come later, ”said the court.

The higher court also emphasized the need to sensitize prison staff through workshops.

Hindustan Times