Saying he was falsely accused of being a Maoist and his family was starving while he was in jail, an undertrial in West Bengal has sought death from a court.
Siddhartha Mandal, 34, was arrested in June 2010 and charged under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He is at the Alipore Central Correction Home (jail) as he waits for his trial to end.
"He wrote a letter to the court saying he is innocent and has been implicated falsely, and requested that he either be released or be allowed to die. We forwarded the letter to Mir Rashid Ali (judge, Alipore Fast Track Court)," C.R. Gorai, the jail superintendent, said.
Mandal, the sole bread earner of his family, in his letter said his family, including his minor children, has been starving. Accusing police of falsely implicating him, Mandal pleaded that he be allowed to die as he was unable to bear the mental agony.
"One has to feel the agony he is going through. No one asks for death unless the circumstances become so dire that you prefer death over life. Mandal, without being guilty, has to face punishment and his family is dying of starvation. Why won't he wish for death," says Mandal's counsel Subhashish Roy.
Euthanasia being illegal in the country, the court did not hear the matter but recorded the letter in the case file. The court has also asked the prosecution to expedite Mandal's hearing, informed Roy.
"Mandal broke down before the court, saying he wanted to die as he was unable to bear the mental pain he was going through. The court sympathised with his condition but said it cannot permit him to die," Roy added.