Bhima Koregaon accused calls off hunger strike

Bhima Koregaon accused Sagar Gorkhe called off his hunger strike on Friday after Member of Legislative Council Kapil Patil met him at Taloja Central Jail.

Mr. Gorkhe began his “fast unto death” on May 20 alleging harassment by the jail authorities. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 7, 2020 from Kondhwa and has been in jail since then.

On May 24, he had written to Maharashtra Home Minister listing several instances of denial of basic human rights inside prison. He said his mosquito net was arbitrarily taken away by the authorities; he was given only one bucket of water to drink, bathe and use in the toilet; and his medical examination was not being conducted despite having constantly complained about a back pain.

“Today, I met Sagar Gorkhe and he has called off his hunger strike,” Mr. Patil told The Hindu. I had met the honourable Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil before meeting him. I also met the Superintendent of Taloja jail, UT. Pawar, and he has assured me that a doctor will do a thorough check-up on Sagar and all other accused who need medical attention.

“I am told there is a genuine shortage of water in the jail, so I spoke to the officials of the City and Industrial Development Corporation and they have assured me that they will try and fix the problem soon. As for the mosquito net, it is an administrative decision because the nails used for the net can be used to hurt an inmate and the rope can be used to commit suicide, so all the prisoners are provided with a mosquito coil and a repellent,” Mr. Patil said.

Mr. Gorkhe, along with two other artistes Jyoti Jagtap (lodged in Byculla jail) and Ramesh Gaichor (at Taloja jail), is part of a cultural troupe called Kabir Kala Manch made up of Dalit and working-class musicians and poets who came together after the 2002 Gujarat violence.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 10:37:00 am |