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Court notice to Tihar jail on Bhatkal's condition

Posted on Apr 29 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, April 29 : A court here Tuesday directed officials of Delhi's Tihar jail to provide all facilities to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal who has claimed he was being treated "even worse than an animal".

According to sources, District Judge I.S. Mehta of the Patiala House court issued notice to the Tihar jail superintendent to file a reply on an application moved by Bhatkal.

The Indian Mujahideen co-founder and his associate Assadullah Akhtar were presented in the court during an in-chamber hearing in a case filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Bhatkal, Akhtar, Manzar Imam and U. Ahmed have been charge-sheeted for their role in the conspiracy and commission of major terror attacks in various parts of the country.

Bhatkal's counsel M.S. Khan informed the court that the Indian Mujahideen co-founder "has been treated even worse than an animal. He was kept in a room without a toilet, no proper food is being provided to him and he was also not allowed access to fresh air and sunlight".

The advocate requested the court to issue direction to jail authorities on his plea.

He also said that during custody, Bhatkal was "severely tortured using scientific technology" and he has not yet overcome the shock.

The NIA, after taking Bhatkal's custody in a case, took the benefit of non-representation by a lawyer and forced him to accept that he was Yasin Bhatkal.

The advocate said Bhatkal "has been falsely and wrongly framed as an accused in other matters" related to terror activities across the country.

Khan said his client was arrested in August 2013 and has been in the custody of the NIA for months. He was later taken into custody by other investigating agencies.

"Since the day of his arrest, for about eight months, he has been kept in solitary confinement and has not seen sunlight except during his transportation for the purpose of investigation and production before court," Khan said in the application.

He said his client now suffers from vertigo when exposed to the sun. He has also been suffering from various stomach ailments, but was not provided any treatment despite the authorities having been informed.

The court fixed May 29 for further hearing.

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