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Published in the 1-15 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Prisoners on hunger strike in Arthur Road and Byculla jails 

The Milli Gazette Online

Mumbai: According to reports, prisoners of Arthur Road and Byculla jails went on hunger strike on 21 April in protest against the injustices meted out to the prisoners who come to J.J. Hospital from these jails for treatment and also because of the negligent attitude of doctors of this hospital in diagnosing their diseases and ailments. One prisoner of Arthur Road jail, Aijaz Pathan who is an accused under TADA in connection with the serial bombing case in Mumbai on 12 March 1993, went on hunger strike because doctors of J.J. Hospital kept him in this hospital continuously for ten days and thereafter discharged him without conducting his operation for cataract.

Aijaz’s lawyer Farhana Shah said that in an application to TADA court judge, P.D. Kode, on behalf of his client she has informed him about the details of mismanagement, negligence and rough bhaviour of doctors of J.J. Hospital towards prisoners and has specially mentioned how Dr Jagtap of this hospital mentally harassed her client. 

News received from other sources also indicate that similar treatment is meted out to prisoners coming to this hospital from Arthur Road Jail. It is said that after coming to know about Aijaz Pathan’s hunger strike, other prisoners too went on hunger strike in protest. It is further said that prisoners of Byculla Jail also, after hearing about this development, resorted to hunger strike in protest against the inhuman behaviour of doctors and treatment of prisoners of this jail. 

On the other hand, relatives of these prisoners, through a fax to the union home ministry, have informed the concerned officials about the prevailing conditions in this hospital and also demanded them to conduct an enquiry and take legal action against the biased doctors of J.J. Hospital. 
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