Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case in custody since July 2020, has developed an acute eye infection in Taloja Jail. His family has been repeatedly asking the jail officials to provide him with medical care and release his health updates.
“He has little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead, compromising other vital organs as well, and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain. He is in agonising pain and is unable to sleep or perform daily chores. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to clean water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels.”Letter from Hany Babu’s wife, mother, daughter and brothers
Babu, who is an assistant English Professor in Delhi University, has been accused of being a co-conspirator in “propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology.”
In the letter, Babu’s family wrote that he started experiencing pain and swelling in the left eye on 3 May which led to double vision and severe pain.
“Since the prison Medical Officer had already informed Hany Babu that the prison did not have the facilities to treat his eye infection, Hany Babu had immediately requested for consultation and treatment with a specialized doctor. But he was not taken for consultation, because an escort officer was not available. It was only after his lawyers sent an email on 6th May to the Superintendent, Taloja Jail, that he was taken to a Government Hospital in Vashi on 7th May,” read the letter.
“Whilst his condition deteriorated alarmingly, he was still not taken back to the hospital after two days, once again due to the lack of escort officers, the prison claims.”Letter from Hany Babu’s family
Since 10 May, Babu’s lawyer has made several calls to jail superintendent who refused to come on line but assured that Babu would be taken for his treatment. Babu’s family alleges that even after 24 hours, there has been no update from the jail authorities on whether he was taken for treatment or not.
“Through the last few days, we have been beside ourselves with anxiety. The thought of Hany Babu having to beg for something as basic as essential health services is heart wrenching. Even today, we were unable to get a response from the prison, despite repeated calls by Ms. Roy (Hany Babu’s lawyer).Letter from Hany Babu’s family
“We fear that an opaque system will do irreparable damage to those locked up within as well as locked down at various places. Hence, we request immediate access to proper medical care and transparency in case of such a serious illness. After all, we are only asking for the rights granted and guaranteed under the Constitution of India,” the letter stated.