Despite Damning Evidence, No Action Initiated Against Jail Staff Over Custodial Death of Prisoner

A 36-year-old undertrial prisoner was brutally murdered inside Maharashtra’s Jalgaon sub-jail more than eight months ago. Ravindra Jagtap, the prisoner, was allegedly brutally beaten up by five prison officials, including the prison superintendent. The severity of the violence was explicit in the autopsy report, which showed 20 “fresh contusions” all over his body and a team of three doctors conclusively determined that his death was caused by a “blunt trauma” to his chest.

Over a dozen witnesses, including a prison official and several co-prisoners, have accused prison officials of brutalising Jagtap, which resulted in his death almost immediately. Despite this, the state prison department has taken no action against the accused prison officials after eight months.

Worse, they remain in the same prison and have complete access to the crime scene as well as official records. Several witnesses in the case, on the other hand, have been sent to far-flung prisons for speaking out against the department and the wrongdoing officers.

These witnesses have remained firm and repeated their testimonies before the internal inquiry, which is being led by a class I superintendent level officer and a district magistrate, as mandated by section 176 (1A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

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