An under trial Muslim claimed that he was beaten and branded with an Om symbol by Tihar jail officials inside the jail premises.
The case came to light after the man’s family approached Karkardooma court with a complaint that their son’s life was “in danger in the jail”.
When Shabbir alias Nabbir was brought before magistrate Richa Parihar, she found that the Om symbol had been engraved on his back.
On April 12, Shabbir raised a complaint with the superintendent of jail no 4 – Rajesh Chauhan. Shabbir told Rajesh Chauhan that the induction stove in their barracks was not working properly.
Incensed by the complaint, the jail official then started beating Shabbir.
Rajesh Chauhan then 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.
They did not stop there.
Not satisfied with the beating, Rajesh Chauhan took a metal Om symbol, heated it, and branded the Om on Shabbir’s back.
Shabbir was then 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 also berated him for his religion saying that “you Muslims have destroyed our country”.
Shabbir narrated his ordeal to his family, who contacted their advocate. On April 16, when advocate Jagmohan met his client (Shabbir) in jail, the branded symbol had only healed a little.
The family is scared but have placed their hope in the judiciary.
“The jail authorities will have to explain why they targeted him. They [jail authorities] will have to file a reply and the court will take action,” advocate Jagmohan, who is representing the family, told India Today TV.
Undertrial Shabbir faces charges under the Arms Act, as countrymade weapons had been found in his possession.