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Indian Court Orders Inquiry After Muslim Man Branded With ‘Om’ Symbol

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An Indian court in Delhi has ordered inquiry after a Muslim undertrial prisoner was branded with ‘Om’ symbol and tortured allegedly by jail superintendent.

Undertrial prisoner identified as Nabbir in Tihar jail told his family that he was tortured and ‘Om’ symbol was branded on his body by jail authorities. Om, also written as Aum, is the most sacred syllable, symbol or mantra in Hinduism.

Nabbir further alleged that he was not fed for two days.

The court inspected Nabbir’s burn marks and is also in possession of photographs showing the mark.

The court said that allegations levelled by Nabbir are of ‘serious nature’ and need ‘immediate intervention’.

“The allegations raised by the accused are of serious nature and required immediate intervention… a notice is being issued to DGP, Prisoner, Head Quarter, Jail No. 4, New Delhi to get the medical examination of accused Nabbir conducted with immediate effect and also to make enquiry report regarding the burn imprinted ‘Om’ mark on the person of the accused,” the court notice said, according to The Wire.

The court also summoned necessary CCTV footage and statements of other inmates.

Moreover, the court ordered to provide full security inside the jail to Nabbir and ordered that he be immediately removed from direct or indirect supervision of jail superintendent Rajesh Chauhan.

There have been several reports of undertrial prisoners being tortured or persecuted in jails. According to the National Human Rights Commission’s April report, 21 Muslim prisoners were tortured and ridiculed based over their religion in Delhi jails.

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