Activist Gautam Navlakha on Tuesday approached a special National Investigation Agency court, seeking a mosquito net at the Taloja Central Jail where he is in custody, The Indian Express reported.
Navlakha is among the persons accused of involvement in the Elgar Parishad case. He filed a fresh plea in court days after another accused person, Vernon Gonsalves, contracted dengue in prison. Gonsalves is currently undergoing treatment at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital and is reported to be on oxygen support.
In his plea, Navlakha told the court that the area in which the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai is located is prone to dengue and malaria. “The applicant [Navlakha] is very troubled due to the influx of mosquitoes at the prison and is unable to sleep at night even after using mosquito repellents,” the plea added.
The activist said that he was earlier permitted to use a mosquito net, but was barred from using it after a change of staff at the prison, the Hindustan Times reported.
In a separate application, Navlakha demanded that he should be taken to the KEM Hospital in Mumbai for a colonoscopy and skin allergies. He also sought to be taken to the city’s Nair Hospital for a dental check-up.
The court directed the prosecution to file its reply to the application.
Navlakha, along with co-accused person Sagar Gorkhe, had filed an application seeking permission to use mosquito nets in July as well. However, the court had rejected the application after jail authorities told the judge that the prisoners could use them to strangulate themselves.
Special Judge Rajesh Kataria, however, had allowed them to use mosquito repellents, ointments and incense sticks.
The Elgar Parishad event took place in Pune on December 31, 2017, a day before violent clashes broke out between Maratha and Dalit groups near the village of Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra. Sixteen people were arrested for allegedly plotting the violence.
The Centre transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency in January 2020. The trial in the case is yet to begin.
Families of those arrested in the case on September 10 had said the undertrials have been systematically denied medical treatment and accused the authorities of criminal negligence.