A Muslim man’s family approached Karkardooma court with a complaint that their son was beaten and branded with an Om symbol by Tihar jail officials inside the jail premises. The complaint claimed that the man’s life was “in danger in the jail”.
When Shabbir alias Nabbir, 34, was presented before magistrate Richa Parihar, she found that the Om symbol had been indeed engraved on his back. He has been lodged at the Tihar since November, 2017.
On April 12, Shabbir raised a complaint with the superintendent of jail no 4, Rajesh Chauhan, informing him that the induction stove in their barracks was not working properly. Enraged by the complaint, the jail official then started beating Shabbir.
Chauhan later summoned Shabbir into his office, berating him for “trying to be a neta”and raising complaints. Behind closed doors, Rajesh Chauhan and some other jail officials beat Shabbir again.
However, to Shabbir’s shock, the ordeal did not end here. Not satisfied with the beating, Rajesh Chauhan took a metal Om symbol, heated it, and branded the Om on Shabbir’s back.
Shabbir was also denied food for two days, and on April 14, Rajesh Chauhan told Shabbir that he had “converted to Hinduism as he had ‘fasted’ during Navratri”.
The jail officials further berated him for his religion saying :
“You Muslims have destroyed our country”.
The entire incident was narrated by Shabbir to his family, who then contacted their advocate. The case was heard by the court on April 17 when Shabbir was already scheduled to be brought to court for a hearing in the ongoing trial against him.
In the courtroom, the judge saw the branded symbol herself and immediately passed orders for Shabbir to be medically examined, and immediately removed from
“The direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan”
The court has also ordered an enquiry and ordered the DGP Prison to submit the CCTV footage and take statements of the other prisoners within 24 hours.
Brazenness of the Tihar Authorities
- No official from the Tihar authority appeared before the court
- The medical examination and enquiry reports also did not come to the court
Undertrial Shabbir faces charges under the Arms Act, as countrymade weapons had been found in his possession