Jail authorities to HC: Will not allow coconuts in the prison

First Published 10, Sep 2017, 1:44 PM IST
Jail authorities to HC Will not allow coconuts inside prison premises
  • The humble coconut has been banned for two months in a jail in Sabarmati
  • A prisoner petitioned the HC asking why he could not have dry coconuts for the festivities
  • The authorities replied to the court saying that they will not be allowing coconuts inside

The last time we check on the banned list of items in prison there were cellphones, knives, flammable substances, weapons of any kind, drugs and more. Did you ever hear of coconuts being on the list?

Well, in Gujarat the prison authorities at the Sabarmati Central Jail have made it clear that no coconuts will be entering their prison walls. Why is the jail opposing coconuts you ask?

An inmate of the jail, Gautam Ramanuj, who is serving the life sentence for his role in abduction of Manish Shah in Bharuch in 1997 — had filed a petition seeking permission for supply of dry coconut inside the jail during Hindu festivals.

And jails as you know, allow the celebration of the diverse festive calendar we have in India. When the high court sought an explanation for this ban on dry coconuts, the authorities replied it could be used as a weapon to assault or instigate violence

 “Dry coconut is a hard substance and can be used for preparation of any hard material by which assault or any violent act is possible,” the jail authorities told the High Court in an affidavit in September, reports the Indian Express.

Ramanuj, in his petition had stated that authorities prohibited the supply of dry coconuts from outside for nearly two months. In their reply to the court, the authorities stated that with 3,000 prisoners, of which 57 are undertrials in bomb blast cases and belong to terrorist outfits - it would be a risk.

Never has the humble coconut assumed such dangerous proportions. We guess Ramanuj’s only option will be to smuggle some in, like they do in jails everywhere, or better still ask Sasikala how she gets what she wants inside the jail.