Cameras do not cover barrack, where Byculla jail inmate was allegedly assaulted.
Mumbai: The closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage inside the barracks of Byculla women’s prison is unlikely to be of much help as possible evidence to the Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the alleged murder of inmate Manju Shetye (45) inside the prison premises on June 23. This is because the footage does not cover the first-floor barrack where Shetye was assaulted.
The two-storeyed barrack building located inside the premises of the women’s prison where the attack took place has two CCTV cameras, sources said.
One camera is on the ground floor focusing towards the cell of Indrani Mukherjea, who is an accused in rioting at Byculla jail after Shetye’s murder. Mukherjea is prime accused in the 2012 Sheena Bora murder case.
The other camera captures the passage area on the first floor, where Shetye’s cell number five was located. The alleged assault, however, took place inside the barrack on the first floor and hence it’s unlikely that the said camera might have captured the incident.
“The footage captured by the two CCTV cameras will help ascertain if even part of the incident is visible. In their statement in the FIR, the inmates claimed that she was dragged inside the barrack, after which she was fatally assaulted. If not the assault, the camera covering the passageway would have captured her being dragged there,” said a crime branch officer.
The digital video recorder, the network video recorder, along with two hard disks, which store the footage, were sent to the forensic sciences laboratory at Kalina and the crime branch is awaiting a report from them. The police is hopeful that the footage could be retrieved from the storage devices even though the cameras themselves had been damaged in the rioting by inmates that followed Shetye’s death.
The four-member all women team of crime branch is meanwhile recording statements of the inmates who claim to have witnessed the assault. The inmates were rehearsing their dance performances for the upcoming celebration of Id on Sunday.
In their statements, the inmates claimed that Shetye was not feeling well after the alleged incident. However, they said she was around when the inmates were rehearsing. Shetye later collapsed when she was taken to the washroom with the help of inmates. She passed out in the washroom. The jail doctor was called in to check Shetye, and referred her to JJ Hospital.