Monday, March 1, 2021

Calls discontinued, only visits for kin of Elgar Parishad accused | Nagpur News – Times of India

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Nagpur: Kin of two Elgar Parishad accused lodged in Taloja and Byculla jails in Mumbai say the facility to call inmates has been discontinued abruptly from this month. Phone calling that was allowed since July as a post Covid measure came as a small luxury. At times, even video calls could be made. Visits were stopped due to the pandemic.
TOI talked to Tushar Bhattacharya, husband of Shoma Sen and Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal. Both said they got a call from Sen and Gadling early this month in which they said it was the last phone as the facility will no longer be available. They would be allowed physical visits to the jail.
The abrupt disconnection of the phone calls has left them worried, especially in times when there is a risk of getting infected in jail and even travelling to meet them is risky, they said.
“I haven’t been able to meet him for one year. Initially, they allowed weekly calls, which was reduced to once a fortnight. Finally, before it was stopped, only one phone a month was allowed,” said Minal Gadling.
The occasional phone call helped the family to know about his well-being. During these days, Gadling lost his mother due to Covid and the family has not come out of the trauma, she said.
Minal said even she was worried about her husband’s health.
“In one of the calls made in July, he had complained of chronic cough. We are worried if it would be Covid, and wanted his tests to be done,” she said.
“Travelling has its own risks. My mother-in-law died of Covid, and we haven’t come out of the trauma. It’s not easy to travel within Mumbai city also. I certainly plan to meet him as it has been a year but again frequent visits are not possible, at least a phone call used to give some solace,” she said.
Bhattacharya, who is 65 years old, lives alone and has a similar story. “The last call came to my daughter when my wife told that she would not be able to make any more calls. This was abrupt,” he said.
“Even I am not in a condition to travel to Mumbai. Fares of the special trains are too much for me. It’s not easy to get reservations too,” said Bhattacharya.
“The jail authorities allowed us to talk for five minutes. Sometimes even video call could be made and we could at least see each other which gave some relief,” he said.



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