City-based activist and advocate T. Narasimhamurthy has filed a complaint against Chitradurga district prison officials for allegedly allowing more number of visitors to meet jailed seer of Murugha Mutt in violation of the Karnataka Prison Manual. The complaint demanding action against the officials has been sent to Home Minister, Director-General and Inspector-General of Police and DGP, Prisons.
Mr. Narasimhamurthy’s complaint is based on a Right to Information response by Superintendent, District Prison, Chitradurga, to his application, which revealed that the prison officials allowed 20 visitors to meet the seer during 23 days of his stay in the prison which is between September 7 to 29. The advocate contended that the Karnataka Prison Manual specified that the officials shall allow visitors who would be family, relatives, friends or legal advisor - one visitor a fortnight.
“So many visitors being allowed to visit the seer shows he is being given special treatment despite being arrested in a POCSO Act case. Mandatory instructions of the Karnataka Prison Manual and various government orders have been flouted by providing preferential treatment to the seer and violating rule of law and equality,” Mr. Narasimhamurthy contended in his complaint. Mr. Narasimhamurthy also alleged that the prison officials refused to reveal the identity of the visitors citing that the information he sought was personal in nature.
The advocate said that the Prisons Department earlier made similar violations pertaining to the case of AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala Natarajan, former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, youth congress leader Mohammed Nalapad, and J. Jayalalithaa during their stay in prison. In many of these cases, he said he had filed similar RTI applications and exposed the violations. “The government should take severe action against erring officials of Chitradurga district prisons and ensure strict adherence of the prison manual to ensure equal rights and privileges to the inmates as per the law,” he said.