Bombay HC orders govt to transfer ‘Naxal agent’ Nirmala Uppuganti to hospice

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and N J Jamadar said that she should be shifted to the hospice by September 15.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to transfer alleged Naxal operative Nirmala Uppuganti to a hospice for palliative care from Byculla women’s jail where she is currently lodged in connection with an IED blast at Gadchiroli in 2019.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and N J Jamadar said that she should be shifted to the hospice by September 15.

Uppuganti had approached the court last month stating that she is terminally ill with stage four cancer. The 59-year-old’s petition stated that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and is now suffering from multiple skeletal metastases, lung metastases.

The court was told that while she was being given medical treatment, she does not have access to basic facilities in her prison cell including hot water, mattress, or medical assistance as she is in excruciating pain.

“The Byculla women’s prison also does not have the facilities as well as the medical staff that can provide the petitioner pain relief medication and make her daily existence tolerable…the prison does not have lifesaving facilities in the occasion of any emergency,” the petition had said, while seeking to be shifted to a trust-run hospice for cancer patients.

The state government had said that she is undergoing treatment and would be taken regularly to Tata Memorial Hospital whenever required. The detailed order will be made available shortly.

Uppuganti was arrested along with her husband Sathyanarayana Rani and others in 2019 for their alleged involvement in a blast at Gadchiroli which killed 16 including 15 personnel of the Quick Response Team.

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