On Thursday morning, the prisoners at Central Prison for Women in Tumkur, were taken aback when they saw visuals of them cleaning the premises broadcast on a popular Kannada news channel.
High drama followed, when as many as 80 prisoners stopped all their work and sat on a hunger strike under a tree, alleging harassment at the hands of the jailor. They alleged that one Muralikrishna, the husband of a woman constable Uma, had shot footage of the women prisoners cleaning the premise and handed them over to the media, without their consent.
One of the prisoners Shivamma allegedly tried to commit suicide by consuming paracetamol tablets, The Hindu reports. The 40-year-old did so, after her image was telecast on the channel.
Public TV had on Wednesday aired a six-minute news clip "exposing" the ill treatment meted out to the women prisoners. In their "exclusive" footage, a woman can be seen cleaning the premises of the prison and an unidentified man is heard alleging that the jailor was harassing the inmates without giving them proper food.
On Thursday, the women prisoners alleged that jailor Shinaza Nigawan had allowed their visuals to be shot and sought action against the jailor and Muralikrishna.
According to reports, Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Veerabhadra Swamy, who arrived at the prison to speak to the inmates, later transferred the jailor.
â€œThe jailor has been transferred. I have promised action against those who had illegally taken the pictures and harassed them. Uma has been asked to vacate the quarters immediately," he was quoted as saying.
The reconstructed Tumkur prison to which women prisoners from Parappana Agrahara jail were being shifted to, can house 200 prisoners, a report said.