Mumbai: Last year, in November, a human skeleton was found from inside the Arthur Road jail while constructing a barrack.
The skeleton was sent to Nair Hospital for forensic examination to ascertain the gender and age of the person. Earlier this week, the forensic department gave its report: the skeleton, more than 100 years old, is of a 25-year-old male.
“With this report, we can say that this person was our oldest inmate,” a jail staff said. “The skeleton was probably buried at the spot even before the Arthur Road jail came into existence,” said an officer from the NM Joshi Marg police station. According to police records, the jail was built on a burial ground from the British era.
The police are, however, waiting for the chemical analysis report before taking a decision. The report is expected in a fortnight, an officer said. “We have already sent the samples to the forensic laboratory in Kalina for chemical analysis,” he said.
“The skeleton was found on November 22, when construction work for the new barrack had just started,” a jail official said. “Workers found a human skull, two leg bones — one was 18 inch long while the other 13 inch — a part below the jaw with a tooth, two bones — each three inch long — and five small pieces of bones around eight to nine feet below the ground.”
Senior inspector Vasant Tajne said that the Arthur Road jail had become too crowded over the past couple of years. “Seeing a rise in the number of undertrials, the jail administration decided to build a new two-storey barrack,” he said. The jail has the capacity to house 1,074 undertrails, but at present there are more than 3,000 inmates.
Arthur Road jail, one of the largest and oldest in the state, has the distinction of housing some of the most infamous undertrails.