On July 20, 86 female and five male inmates of the jail were admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital for stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Mumbai: After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) reports claimed that the food and water samples procured from Byculla jail were safe for consumption and not responsible for making inmates ill, the state prison department officials have said that while a few of the inmates must have felt uneasiness due to the preventive cholera pills, the others might have feigned illness and used the opportunity to get some time out of the prison. On July 20, 86 female and five male inmates of the jail were admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital for stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The FDA had collected samples of raw materials such as wheat, rice, dal, refined oil and poha, said joint commissioner of food, Shailesh Aadhav. “Laboratory tests revealed that the food was fit for consumption,” he stated. The nine water samples collected by BMC too have come clean with no reports of contamination, confirmed executive health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar.
The Inspector General of Police (Prisons), Rajvardhan Sinha said, “The FDA and BMC reports have already established that there was no contamination. We maintain proper hygiene in the jail.” He added, “After some inmates felt nauseous, we gave them treatments and all the preventive medicines. After an inmate was detected with cholera, we had distributed dosage of Doxycycline. When the inmates saw a few fall ill and being taken to the hospital, many others started complaining of stomach ache, which might be part of the mob psychology.”
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women is also conducting an independent inquiry into the matter. The conditions of the women’s prison came under the spotlight after an inmate, Manjula Shetye (45), died after being allegedly beaten up by a few jail officials as she had “failed” to account for two eggs and five loaves of bread that were distributed by her to the inmates.