Court issues show cause to Central Jail for moving Naxal inmates

NAGPUR: A judicial magistrate first class court in Gondia is learnt to have issued a show cause notice to the Nagpur Central Jail authorities for transferring inmates tried for alleged Naxal offences without judicial permission. An ad hoc court in Nagpur too has sought a reply from jail authorities on the same issue after a separate complaint was filed before it.

Central Jail inmates accused of Naxal activities have moved the two separate complaints before different courts against the prison authorities. The undertrial rebels have complained that the jail authorities have been indiscriminately shifting them from one prison to another without court’s permission, even though they are under judicial custody.

It is learnt that there are some 150 alleged Naxal inmates in Nagpur central jail. Around 18, including Bhimrao Bhowate and his wife Sunanda, were transferred to the Amravati Central jail towards the end of October. Bhowate, his wife and four others filed a complaint before the Gondia JMFC in the first week of November against their shifting to another jail without court’s permission.

Arun Thomas Ferreira, Shridhar Shrinivasan and four others also filed a similar complaint before the ad hoc court in Nagpur last week. It is learnt that the ad hoc court has asked the jail authorities to file their reply regarding the same.

Advocate Surendra Gadling said his clients had claimed that the jail authorities’ move to shift Naxal prisoners to different jails is illegal and they had brought the issue before the court. “There was a petition filed by the state government to shift the trials of the cases in Gadchiroli and Gondia to Nagpur courts, since the accused are lodged in the local central jail. Now, the undertrials are being taken out of the city to a different district. This is contradictory to their earlier stand,” said Gadling.

It is learnt that the Central Jail authorities and intelligence agencies had been shaken up by the repeated agitations by Naxal inmates in the jail on various issues. The Naxals have often resorted to hunger strikes to mark their protest. This had prompted the jail authorities to move these prisoners and destroy the Naxal unity in jail.

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