Mumbai: Deposing before the sessions court on Monday, a former jail inmate of Byculla jail said that she had heard Manjula Shetye’s screams after she had entered accused jailor Manisha Pokharkar’s cabin on being called to come there.
The witness, who is now out on bail, said that she was drying clothes in the ground floor and that Shetye had come from the first floor barrack where she was lodged, after Pokharkar had called her down. While the doors and windows of the Pokharkar’s cabin were closed, she said she could only hear Shetye’s screams from the cabin.
The former inmate, who was weeping during her deposition, further said that she had seen Shetye being dragged upstairs thereafter and one of the accused, Aarti Shigne, had a stick in her hand while Shetye was taken upstairs.
She added that her then jail roommate Manju Kachua had been to hospital and on returning had told her that Shetye who was also been taken to the hospital, was no more. In the morning when the inmates are let out of their barracks, she said she told everyone about the incident. When the inmates asked jail constables Bindu Naikode and Surekha Gulve about it, they said Shetye was fine, while when they asked Pokharkar about Shetye, she did not say anything, but closed the door of her cabin.
Thereafter, she said, some inmates, including herself, protested and demanded action against the accused.
Six policewomen are facing trial for the murder of Manjula Shetye in 2017.