Send Mankhurd shelter Indian inmates with release orders home: High Court

Court also wants Bangladeshi women repatriated within a week.

Bombay High Court (HC) asked the state government Wednesday to send home within a week Indian inmates of Navjeevan Sudhar Kendra, Mankhurd, who have received release orders.

About Bangladeshi inmates, it said the government should get them travel permits.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar was hearing a petition taken up suo moto on the basis of a newspaper report that quoted an inmate who fled as saying that groups of armed men barged into the shelter several times and raped and assaulted women.

Nine inmates fled the home Monday, taking the total to 51 in four months.

The judges also ordered Bangladeshi inmates with travel permits be repatriated within a week.

Government pleader D A Nalavade told HC correspondence with Bangladesh High Commission was initiated on November 29 to confirm identity of the women and a reply was awaited.

Chief Justice Shah stressed the need for sensitivity in dealing with issues of rehabilitation.

Nalavade said one of the nine women who escaped from the shelter Monday was a Bangladeshi and she did so despite the fact that her travel permit had been extended.

HC had asked psychiatrist Harish Shetty and superintendent of police (traffic) Rashmi Karandikar on November 5 to examine living conditions at the home and submit a report. The committee called the shelter "a living hell".

It said a woman who became pregnant at the home fled and hinted at a "deep-rooted conspiracy" behind her escape.

The committee also said there was evidence that unidentified men illegally trespassed the compound of the shelter.

The matter has been posted to December 12 for further hearing.

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