Ibrahim, a remand prisoner who was convicted under UAPA for allegedly being part of a Maoist group, has been in prison for six years.
Human rights activists in Kerala are calling for the release of Ibrahim, a native of Wayanad, a 67-year-old UAPA remand prisoner, due to his deteriorating health for some time. In the midst of this, a medical report from Thrissur Government Medical College has surfaced warning of Ibrahim’s severe heart disease which requires ongoing treatment and care. Ibrahim’s family, who have voiced their appeals on several occasions, again called for government intervention to allow him to be released on bail. Ibrahim, who already suffers from various illnesses including diabetes, has also been unable to eat a solid diet in recent months due to the loss of his teeth, according to his family.
Ibrahim aka Babu, has been in prison for six years, without bail. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2016, in connection with the burning of a civilian policeman’s motorcycle, allegedly by a group of CPI (Maoist) members. The NIA arrested Ibrahim, accusing him of being a Maoist member. However, according to state human rights activists, Ibrahim was a popular leader in Wayanad in the late 1990s. He had led numerous protests against the eviction of plantation workers Harrison Malayalam. Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, a human rights group, claimed he was being targeted because of his social and class consciousness.
In the medical report from the director of Thrissur Medical College, dated August 16, a cardiology expert said Ibrahim suffered from coronary heart disease and had previously had a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The report further states that although his cardiac situation is currently stable, he needs continued treatment and medical follow-up. The doctor also advised not to experience excessive physical stress or strain. More importantly, the report also states that “given current conditions, there is still an increased risk of future cardiovascular events.”
Additionally, the pulmonary expert said Ibrahim had difficulty breathing (grade 2 dyspnea) and had features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and post-tuberculosis sequelae – Ibrahim had tuberculosis years ago . The pulmonary expert recommended “good bronchial hygiene, pulmonary rehabilitation and bronchodilators (drugs to relax the bronchi or the respiratory tract)”. Medical reports also suggest that Ibrahim, who suffers from diabetes mellitus, needs strict blood sugar monitoring.
Speaking to TNM, Ibrahim’s family say Ibrahim’s condition has deteriorated over the past few months, especially after he lost all of his teeth. “After his tooth extraction months ago, he didn’t have proper solid food. It only survives on chapatis soaked in tea or water. Because he has sugar, he cannot eat other foods either. How can someone his age stay healthy, given all the other ailments he suffers from, ”says Jameela, Ibrahim’s wife. Although Jameela wrote in June to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the state police chief, there was no intervention. “I had spoken to him (Ibrahim) today too. The medical report says he shouldn’t be under stress, but how can he take care of himself inside the prison. At least let him out on bail. We can take care of him, ”Jameela adds.
She also adds that the trial in this case only started two months ago. In her letter to the state police chief calling for Ibrahim’s release, she said he was initially convicted in two cases for the same incident of the police officer’s motorcycle which was allegedly burnt. Earlier this year, Ibrahim was acquitted in one of the cases by the Kozhikode Magistrate’s Court. “Consider his age, take into account his illnesses and give him bail for humanitarian reasons. We are afraid that something will happen to him, ”Ibrahim’s son Naufal told TNM.