January 22, 2017 3:38:47 am
Violence erupted in the Ghazipur district jail on Saturday, when all 790 inmates began pelting stones at jail staff and indulging in arson while protesting a search of their barracks which began Friday and continued on Saturday. Jail officials recovered 39 cellphones during their search, with three mobilephones being recovered on Friday, and 36 on Saturday morning, Ghazipur ASP Keshav Chand Goswami said.
A large police contingent, led by District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Khatri and SP Arvind Sen, later brought the situation under control through lathicharge. Two inquiries have been ordered.
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Inspector General (Prisons) GL Meena said a departmental inquiry to be conducted by Allahabad Range DIG (Prisons) will look into lapses leading to the incident, and also probe how cellphones were used inside the jail.
The inquiry has also been tasked to look into allegations by prisoners that jail guards harassed them, added Meena.
Another two-member committee comprising an Additional SP and sub-divisional magistrate has been formed to look into reasons behind the violence, and also the possession of cellphones by prisoners, the DM said.
Goswami said the jail inmates, who were kept outside barracks and had gathered on the premises during the search operation, suddenly went berserk and started pelting stones at jail guards after demolishing a wall inside. They also broke some furniture and set it on fire.
Initially, jail guards tried to control prisoners by firing their weapons in the air, but without success. They then contacted the DM and the SP at around 10.25 am, seeking help, according to Goswami. A heavy police force led by Khatri and the SP then reached the jail.
While the ASP claimed the prisoners had stopped the violence, sources in the jail claimed the police had to lathicharge inmates to get them inside their barracks.
“Inmates alleged that jail staff discriminate between prisoners, and provide undue facilities to some. They also allege that some prisoners and the jail staff harass them and demand money in return for providing facilities. Prisoners also alleged that there is no proper medical facility inside the jail,” said Goswami.
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