IT professional lands in prison for no fault of his

IT professional lands in prison for no fault of his



B.S. Ramesh



He spent seven days in lock-up and 43 days in jail





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A mobile phone operator gave his IP address to Pune police

He is fighting to get compensation from company


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BANGALORE: He was one among the many youth in Bangalore engaged in the software sector. His life revolved around his work at an Information Technology (IT) major, and his interest in cricket.

But Lakshman Kailash’s small world came crashing down when policemen from Pune arrested him for a crime he never committed.

Mr. Kailash was taken to Pune, where he spent seven days in lock-up and 43 days in Yerwada Jail.

A private mobile phone operator had given his IP address to Pune police following a complaint regarding a “derogatory blog” on Maratha king Chhatrapathi Shivaji, on Orkut.

The real offenders have now been caught, and Mr. Kailash has been released from prison.

His employers, who stood by him through his ordeal, have relocated him to Chennai.

He intends to carry on his fight to get compensation from the private mobile phone operator.

“It is their communication which led to my arrest and the 50 days of incarceration,” he says.

During a chat with The Hindu on the High Court of Karnataka premises on Saturday, Mr. Kailash relived his “dark” days in jail.

He had come there to consult his lawyer for initiating action against the mobile phone operator. Mr. Kailash said that on August 30 last, he had gone to sleep after watching a cricket match, in which India was playing, till 3 a.m. Five hours later, he was woken up by eight policemen from Pune, at his residence on Airport Road.

Ordeal


Even before Mr. Kailash could gather his wits and ask them what wrong he had done, the police began firing questions at him and “searched” his computer.

He was told that they had received a communication from the Bangalore office of the mobile phone firm saying that the “derogatory text” on Orkut against Chhatrapathi Shivaji had come from his IP address.

Unable to comprehend what the police were talking about, he contacted his brother who stayed near Hebbal.

But the police refused to believe that he was innocent. They took him to the airport police station, and then to Pune by road.

Mr. Kailash said that he had reached Pune on September 1, and had to spend seven days in “filthy” lock-ups at two police stations there.

The bail application he filed on the eighth day of his stay there was rejected by a magistrate, and he was sent to Yerwada Jail. With bed bugs for company, sound sleep was out of the question in the jail, and it was difficult to have jail food, he said.

With 200 undertrial prisoners packed in one of the wards, Mr. Kailash said that they had to sleep with hands on their chest.

He said he had refrained from telling the inmates the reason for being jailed.

The Pune police had told him that he would land in trouble if he told others that he had made “derogatory” references to Chhatrapathi Shivaji.

Jail life was a nightmare that Mr. Kailash still cannot forget. What is more annoying is the fact that he is not even remotely connected to the “crime” for which he was picked up.

Life in a high-security jail with hardened criminals was never easy, he said. The “blog” on Orkut seems to have changed Mr. Kailash’s life forever. He says that his family and friends have been helpful and encouraged him to start life anew.

He is determined to see that others do not suffer the fate he has.

He wants to ensure that adequate safeguards are put in place so that nobody is punished for a crime he has not committed.

courtesy : http://www.hindu.com/2008/06/30/stories/2008063060750100.htm

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