Kozhikode: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that he is willing to intervene in the case of Hany Babu, held in jail as under-trial in Maharashtra, for getting him required medical treatment.
Vijayan was reacting to a request from Hany Babu's family to make proper treatment available to him. He added that although there are limitations for intervention in the matter under another state's jurisdiction, he would explore what could be done for which he has instructed the Chief Secretary for necessary follow up.
The Keralite professor and human rights activist Hany Babu has been in Taloja jail in Maharashtra after being arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case about the Bhima-Koregaon protests.
His wife and members of the family had mentioned in the letter to the chief minister that his health was deteriorating.
Babu is in "agonizing pain" and lacks basic facilities to take care of the swelling which has spread to his ear and parts of the cheek as well alleged Babu's wife Jenny Rowena, who teaches in the English department of Miranda House. His two brothers Harish MT and MT Ansari claimed that Babu has little or no vision in his left eye due to swelling, which poses "a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain".
The statement alleges that despite doctors recommending treatment for the infection which developed on May 3, jail authorities in Taloja refused to take him to hospital citing lack of security to accompany him. Babu was only taken to hospital on May 7 after his lawyers emailed the jail staff and although an ophthalmologist recommended a follow-up treatment in two days, even this was not done until Tuesday, relatives claimed.
Prison superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar was quoted by The Indian Express as denying any claims of mistreatment such as the jail lacking clean water to wash the infected eye with as well as denying medical treatment to Babu.
Taloja jail has over 3200 prisoners against its official capacity of 2124. The issue of shortage of police escorts was raised by the Prison Reform Committee (2017-18) appointed by the state government following orders of the Bombay High Court. The committee found that Taloja jail did not have enough sanctioned posts for police escorts.
Hany Babu, hailing from Trissur and associate professor of English at Delhi University, was arrested on 29 July 2020. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged him with conspiracy during the commemoration of the Bhima-Koregaon case and accusing him of propagating Maoist ideas.
Hany Babu was the 12th person to be arrested in connection with the case, the others including Telugu poet Varavara Rao. He was also a member of a committee working for the release of former Delhi University professor GN Sai Baba, who is now in Nagpur serving a life term for Maoist links.