In a shocking revelation, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), after seeking UP Government’s reply on steps taken to rehabilitate Vishnu Tiwari, a man who spent twenty years in jail for a false rape case after a land dispute in Lalitpur district. Like Tiwari, “There may be prisoners older than 75 years of age and dying in the jails. It clearly depicts the ineffectiveness of the Sentence Review Board.”
“Vishnu was arrested on September 16, 2000, for rape and atrocities under the SC/ST act. Three years later, he was convicted by Lalitpur court and sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment, further convicted under SC/ST act and sentenced to life imprisonment. On Jan 28, this year, he was declared not guilty by the High Court’s judicial bench. The court observed that the FIR had been lodged 3 days late. There were no injuries on the private parts of the woman, who was said to have been thrashed. The complaint had been lodged by the woman’s husband and father-in-law, not her. There was a motive of land dispute between parties on the part of the complainant.”
“Unfortunately, the woman is dead. Vishnu’s parents and two brothers are no more and he has lost over 20 years of his life. It is not easy to start life at 43. He got Rs. 600 from the jail administration when he left,” adds Dr. Aneel Kashi Murarka.
Vishnu Tiwari is not the only one. Like him, there are probably thousands of people who have been languishing in jails. “Aneel ji is a very old friend of mine and he showed me this news article about Vishnu who spent 20 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit,” avers comedian Raju Srivastava.
Vishnu shares that he would make over 3,000 rotis a day in jail. “I don’t know how to make ends meet anymore. I don’t know what the future holds for me after 20 years in jail,” he avers.
Dr. Aneel Kashi Murarka says, “Our justice system needs to be improved. Till we don’t do something about it, other people will languish in jail like Vishnu! I appeal to the government to do justice to Vishnu and other people like him.”