Hany Babu Tested COVID Positive

hany babu 1

Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, who has been in custody since July 2020 without trial has now been diagnosed as COVID Positive.

Hany had developed an acute eye infection in Taloja Jail. He has little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead compromising other vital organs as well, and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to enough water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels.

Moreover, he was not taken to a hospital with the requisite facilities to treat him on account of the lack of escort guards. After an email dated 6.5.2021 from his lawyer, Ms. Payoshi Roy, Hany was taken to the Government Hospital in Vashi where he was examined by an Ophthalmologist, prescribed anti-bacterial medication, and advised to return for follow-up treatment in two days. He was not taken for the follow-up, despite drastic deterioration in his eye, once again due to the lack of escort officers.

It was only after Hany’s lawyer, Ms. Payoshi Roy, made over 8 calls to the prison and sent another email dated 10.5.2021emphasizing the gravity of the situation that Hany was taken to J.J Hospital, Mumbai on 12.5.2021. On 13.5.2021 Jenny Hany Babu’s wife received a phone call from Taloja Prison and was informed that Hany had been admitted at J.J Hospital. She was not informed of either his diagnosis, nor the treatment being administered, and not even the time of his admission.

Now at about 7:30pm, when Hany’s mother arrived at J.J Hospital to meet her son, she was informed by a nurse that Hany has tested COVID Positive. We are yet to receive any official information either from the prison or from the NIA. Despite requests we have not received any information regarding his CT count, his vital statistics and the results of any tests conducted.

Through the last few days, our entire family has been wrecked with anxiety. The thought of Hany having to beg for something as basic as essential health services is heart wrenching. It is abject injustice that Hany should have to suffer repeatedly due to the negligence of State Officials. We are dealing with an opaque and callous system which is deaf to our cries and blind to our pain.

It is essential that Hany should immediately be shifted to a multi-speciality hospital where he can be treated for COVID-19 as well his eye. The second wave of COVID-19 that is presently ravaging India is extremely virulent with a much higher fatality rate. Persons with a high inflammation index, secondary infections, low immunity and co-morbidities are at much higher risk of death. An ordinary COVID hospital without a specialist ophthalmology department will be sorely ill-equipped to treat Hany in this precarious condition.

My family and I are desperate that Hany should receive the best possible treatment. We do not want to leave him at the mercy of a system that treats under trial prisoners with such cruel indignity and does not believe that it owes us the courtesy of even informing us of Hany’s condition and treatment or that Hany and his family have a right to know and participate in his treatment.

I appeal to the State Government to immediately shift Hany to a multi-speciality hospital with the required expertise and facilities, such that Hany can get the best possible treatment in his present condition. I also request that we be given a complete copy of Hany’s medical documents and be updated in real time on a contemporaneous basis on every development regarding Hany’s health so that we can take all necessary decisions in order to protect his life and ensure his safety and well-being.

Jenny Rowena (wife)
Fathima (mother)
Dr Harish M Tharayil (brother) Dr Ansari M T (brother)



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