Tihar Jail Officer Brands ‘Om’ Symbol On Muslim Inmate’s Back

NEW DELHI — A Delhi court has called for an enquiry after a Muslim undertrial was branded with an Om symbol, allegedly by Tihar jail superintendent.

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”.

Shabbir, an undertrial prisoner at the Tihar jail, told his family that he was branded with an Om symbol and was not fed for two days on April 12. He said that he was subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment by jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan. After his family informed his counsel, the counsel moved an application in the court.

When Shabbir was brought before magistrate Richa Parihar, she found that the Om symbol had been engraved on his back.Shabbir is 34 years old and has been in Tihar since November, 2017.

According to News 18, Shabbir raised a complaint with the superintendent of jail no 4 – Chauhan on November 4. Shabbir told 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 thrashed  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, the report added.

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”.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 asked him to narrate his story, and then she saw the branded symbol herself.

In an order calling for an enquiry, the court said, “The allegations raised by the accused are of serious nature and required immediate intervention… a notice is being issued to DGP, Prisoner, Head Quarter, Jail No. 4,

New Delhi to get the medical examination of accused Nabbir conducted with immediate effect and also to make enquiry report regarding the burn imprinted ‘Om’ mark on the person of the accused.”

It said necessary CCTV footage should be collected, in addition to statements of other inmates. “It is further directed that necessary arrangements be made to ensure the safety of accused in jail and he be immediately removed from the direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan,” the order read.


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