New Delhi, A Delhi court ordered the director-general (DG) of Tihar jail to conduct an inquiry into allegations of a Muslim prisoner’s complaint that prison officers had imprinted a tattoo with the ‘Om’ symbol on his back. Jail officers, however, denied the charges and said the prisoner had problems with jail officers over being denied some privileges, such as the use of induction cooker.
The court had learned of the case when the counsel of the prisoner, Nabbir, approached the court alleging that jail officers had brandished the symbol on his back.
A metropolitan magistrate(MM) reportedly visited the prisoner and saw the symbol on Nabbir’s back, after which the MM directed the director-general of Tihar to launch an inquiry and remove the prisoner from the current jail complex in Tihar where he is lodged.
The court has termed the allegations ‘serious in nature’ and demanded the DG immediately intervene. Nabbir has alleged that jail officers have deprived him of food for two days. Nabbir, whom the Delhi Police alleged is a member of northeast Delhi’s Chennu gang, has been lodged in Tihar since November 2017, for allegedly carrying firearms, attempted murder, and under MCOCA. The court has sought CCTV camera footage and directed the collection of statements of the other inmates in this regard.
A Tihar jail spokesperson said they have shifted Nabbir to jail number 1 from jail number 4.
“Every corner of the prison has CCTV camera footage. The tattoo on his back looks perfectly carved and not one that has been forcefully done. The prisoner has come to Tihar before and has been pulled up for offences such as carrying cellphones. He was at loggerheads with some jail officers and insisted on having an induction cooker as well. We suspect that his friends may have done the tattoo for him. An independent inquiry will find out the truth.”
Jail officers said they would check CCTV camera footage from all cameras and record statement of other inmates, during the inquiry.
An officer said that on April 12, a prison doctor had also complained about Nabbir and accused him of indiscipline. The inquiry will be conducted by a DIG rank officer.