Gautam Navlakha approaches court again seeking mosquito net in prison

Jailed human rights defender 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.

Navlakha is among the UAPA persons accused of involvement in the Elgar Parishad case.

Navlakha filed a fresh plea in court days after another accused person and rights activist Vernon Gonsalves, contracted dengue in prison. Gonsalves is currently undergoing treatment at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital and on oxygen support.

Over the past few months, undertrials at the prison and jail authorities have faced-off over lack of mosquito nets in the prison, Indian Express reported.

Four months ago, jail authorities seized mosquito nets of undertrials stating that the strings and nails used to tie the nets can be a security risk.

“It is submitted that Taloja Central prison is located in an area which is a chronic dengue and malaria-prone area…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,” read Navlakha’s plea.

Two months ago, Navlakha and his co-accused Sagar Gorkhe had approached court seeking mosquito nets. The court did not allow their plea while directing the jail superintendent to take “all necessary precautions against mosquitoes”, conduct fumigation, allow inmates to use repellents, ointments and incense sticks.