Members of the Maharashtra Commission for the Protection of Child Rights visited the Byculla jail on Saturday. Officials visited the jail over allegations of inmates using children as human shields during riots that took place in June.
The members led by Chairperson Pravin Ghuge decided to visit the jail to check the safety of children who live with the inmates. "If we find that the safety of children is compromised, we will take action as per the law," Pravin Ghuge had said.
Six members of the commission visited the jail to investigate whether children were used as human shields during the riots that took place following the death of an inmate, Manjula Shetye. Commission members visited Byculla prison two days after a parliamentary panel of women MPs visited to inspect the facilities and security extended to inmates of the prison.
The Commission's visit was aimed at accessing the living conditions of children who are allowed to stay with their mothers. Children up to the age of six are allowed to stay with their inmate mothers at the Byculla prison. Commission members interacted with children as well as the women to understand what happened on the day Manjula was assaulted.
A report will be filed by the commission members before the Woman and Child Ministry of Maharashtra. Some 17 inmates in the Byculla prison are allowed to live with their children. After news of riots in the jail broke, the child rights commission had sought a report from the jail authorities on whether children of inmates were hurt. On Saturday, the commission had a physical visit to take stock of the situation.