One of the convicts in the 1993 Surat bomb blast case died at Vadodara jail late on Sunday night. Family members of 40-year-old Eshaan Patel have alleged that negligence on the part of jail authorities led to his death, and they are planning to take legal action against the authorities.
Patel died after suffering a heart attack at Vadodara central prison on Sunday night. Patel was a resident of Dayadra village in Bharuch.
Patel and six others were convicted in the Surat railway station blast case of April 22, 1993 that had left 37 people injured. They were sentenced to 20 years in jail in October 2008.
Even as Patel's postmortem was performed, family members alleged that delay in providing treatment caused his death. They said that Patel was complaining of chest pain and breathing problems for few days, but jail authorities had not taken it seriously. Patel had even written to jailor RB Damor and jail superintendent seeking medical help.
On February 16, when Patel' wife Julie met him in the jail, he narrated to her the situation and even gave one letter. His wife tried to convince the jail authorities about her husband's sickness, but to no avail.
"On Sunday, he asked for medical help after feeling heavy chest pain. Instead of being taken to hospital, he was given an injection by a constable, as there is no doctor or nurse available in the jail. Within ten minutes of being injected, he fainted and died on the spot. To hide their negligence, jail officials claim that Patel died on the way to hospital," Julie told DNA.
She alleged that jail authorities used to abuse him verbally. They used to tell Patel that TADA convicts are not allowed to be taken to hospital and so he has to die in jail only. She said she was going to file a complaint against jail authorities for her husband's murder.
Patel's death sparked anger among his friends and relatives. "There is no provision in the law which states that a TADA prisoner can't be admitted to hospital. He was deliberately not provided timely treatment, which led to his death. There are other TADA prisoners also who are facing a similar situation," Altaf Sheikh, a friend of Patel, said.
Despite repeated attempts, jail officials could not be contacted.
Rishi Banerji/ DNA-Daily News & Analysis Source: 3D Syndication
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