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Maharashtra government to probe sexual harassment of women prisoners

The Maharashtra government would probe the opposition’s allegation of sexual harassment of women prisoners in jails in the state, Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil told the state Assembly today.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, of the NCP, claimed in the House that he has proof that women prisoners in various jails in the state allegedly face some sort of sexual assault.

“I can provide it if the state government asks for it,” Pawar said.

Responding to Pawar’s allegation, Patil said, “Maharashtra government will conduct an inquiry into this matter. We will also seek help of leaders like Ajit Pawar in this matter.”

Pawar also alleged that an SMS was being circulated among the police officials appealing them to contribute Rs 2,000 each for creating a corpus fund for defending the police personnel arrested for allegedly beating convict Manju Shette in the Byculla women’s prison.

Shette (45) died at the J J Hospital on June 23 after being allegedly beaten up by the Byculla jail officials, police earlier said.

Responding to it, Patil said that the SMS issue will be probed further.

The minister also assured the House that the medical officer who allegedly submitted a false affidavit in Byculla prison inmate’s death will be suspended.

Meanwhile, Ashish Shelar (BJP) alleged that Indrani Mukerjea, an accused in the Sheena Bora murder case and lodged in Byculla jail, was getting facilities like manicure, pedicure and massage.

To this, Patil said, “We will investigate this angle as well.”

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