Journalist Rupesh Kumar Faces Threats in Bihar Jail, Family Seeks Intervention

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Wife writes to the Inspector General of Prisons in Bihar alleging harassment and neglect of Rupesh Kumar Singh in Shaheed Jubba Sahni Central Jail in Bhagalpur.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Family members of incarcerated independent journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh, currently lodged in Shaheed Jubba Sahni Central Jail in Bihar’s Bhagalpur, have raised serious concerns over his well-being and safety in jail. In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Prisons in Bihar, Rupesh’s wife, Ipsa Shatakshi, has appealed for urgent action to address the alarming situation.

The case of Rupesh Kumar Singh, who was transferred from Beur Central Jail to Shaheed Jubba Sahni Central Jail on January 23, is being heard in the NIA court in the state capital of Patna.

Ipsa Shatakshi’s letter paints a distressing picture of the conditions her husband is facing behind bars. Recounting her recent visit to the prison on April 11, Ipsa revealed shocking details shared by Rupesh during their meeting.

“I met him on April 11, 2024, in Shaheed Jubba Sahni Central Jail Bhagalpur, and what he told me is extremely derogatory and worrying,” Ipsa wrote in her letter.

According to Ipsa, Rupesh recounted a distressing incident involving a raid on the jail premises, during which cell master Murari Kumar Singh allegedly resorted to verbal abuse and threats

Despite her protests against the mistreatment, no action was taken by the jail administration to address the misconduct of the cell master. Rupesh’s attempts to lodge a formal complaint with the jailer or the superintendent were reportedly unsuccessful, further exacerbating the family’s concerns.

Highlighting the lack of basic facilities and medical care in the prison, Ipsa expressed grave apprehensions about her husband’s deteriorating health. “My husband has been suffering from eye problems for a long time, and I had also seen the difference in the colour of his eyes in the last meeting,” she wrote.

Rupesh allegedly informed Ipsa that despite being referred to the jail hospital and camp, he has yet to receive proper medical attention for his eye condition. Moreover, the deplorable conditions of the prison environment, including contaminated drinking water and inadequate food provisions, have added to the family’s distress.

“In such a situation, the threat of death by the roomkeeper of the place where he is kept is scary,” Ipsa expressed, condemning the mental harassment and violation of human rights endured by her husband.

In her plea to the Inspector General of Prisons, Ipsa implored immediate measures to ensure Rupesh’s safety, health, and access to proper nutrition. “I request Sir with great hope that such harassment inside the jail should be stopped,” she wrote. “Positive initiatives should be taken for my husband’s safety, health, and proper eating habits.”

The complaint letter forwarded by Ipsa to the Chief Minister’s Office has reportedly been referred to the Home Department for appropriate action, raising hopes for swift intervention to address the plight of Rupesh Kumar Singh and other prisoners facing similar hardships.

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