Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea told a Mumbai court this morning that along with other prisoners, she watched jail officials drag a woman using the saree she had draped around her neck and then assault her. The victim, Manjula Sheyte, died a few hours later, allegedly after being brutalized with a wooden stick.
- Woman prisoner brutalized with stick, killed in jail
- 6 jail officers suspended, one, a woman, charged with murder
- Indrani Mukerjea to testify about being threatened with violence
Ms Mukerjea, a former media entrepreneur imprisoned on charges of murdering her daughter, said that she witnessed Ms Sheyte's beating through a hole in the door of the room to where the prisoner was moved.
The FIR or police complaint filed by Ms Sheyte's cell-mate says that a lathi or wooden rod was inserted in the private parts of the victim who died last Thursday.
Ms Mukerjea, 44, alleged that authorities at Byculla jail also threatened her with the "same consequence" as Ms Sheyte if she spoke out against them. On her way out of court, when reporters asked how she is, she replied, "Still alive."
In court today, Ms Mukerjea alleged that she along with other inmates was beaten with batons by male officers; they put out the lights before assaulting them, she added. She was later taken to hospital to ascertain injuries.
Ms Mukerjea was imprisoned in 2015 on charges of murdering her daughter, Sheena Bora, three years earlier.
On Saturday morning, she was among 200 women who climbed onto the roof of the prison in the heart of the financial capital to protest against the death of Ms Shetye, who had been convicted of killing a family member. Six prison officers have been suspended for Ms Shetye's death; one of them has been charged with murder. Ms Shetye was reportedly assaulted after she complained of inadequate food supplies being served to prisoners.
Ms Mukerjea's arrest two years ago became a high-profile crime story after the police revealed that her daughter Sheena Bora, who she introduced as her sister, had been murdered in 2012. Ms Mukerjea, a former spouse, her driver and her husband Peter Mukerjea have been arrested for Ms Bora's killing.
Indrani and Peter Mukerjea owned a TV network that they sold in 2009.
Ms Bora was engaged to Rahul Mukerjea, who is Peter Mukerjea's son from an earlier marriage.