Jail staff booked for murder of two inmates

The Kolkata Police have pressed murder charges against five wardens and guards at the Presidency Central jail for allegedly beating two under-trials to death on September 18 last year.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Published:February 10, 2009 1:43 am

The Kolkata Police have pressed murder charges against five wardens and guards at the Presidency Central jail for allegedly beating two under-trials to death on September 18 last year.

The jail authorities had said after the incident the two deaths were result of a clash that had broken out between the inmates on September 18 last year.

According to the police investigation report,warders entered cell blocks after lockdown and beat up the inmates following which Mohammed Azharuddin and Mohammed Jehangir died. It says the two were dragged out of their cells and beaten with batons on the head.

Biswanath Choudhury,the state’s minister for jails,refused to comment.

DCP Jawed Shamim of the detective department said,

“After a formal complaint,we have initiated a case under

Section 302 (murder) against those responsible for the death of the inmates.”

“We have found that the facts are different from what the jail authorities had to say. The two victims were actually beaten up with batons on their heads after the ruckus had died down,” said a senior police officer.

According to the investigation report,jail warders and guards went inside the cell blocks after lockup time at 5 pm,when all inmates are locked inside their cells,hours after a ruckus started by the inmates had died down.

“They were not supposed to hit on their head. But they hit them on the head until they bled and fell unconscious,” the officer said.

While the jail authorities had claimed that around 32 guards were injured when inmates attacked them with razors and knives,the probe and medical tests found injury marks on only a couple of the jail guards,that too superficial.

The trouble had broken out in the jail when Gudda,a gangster lodged there,learnt that he and some of his accomplices,including Azharuddin,would be shifted to Dum Dum

Central jail. He and his aides then tried to agitate near the jail gate following which the jail authorities locked the inmates in their wards.

Azharuddin,who received head injuries,was administered two stitches on the forehead,but his condition worsened and he later died in the jail hospital. His father,Mohammad Fakruddin,who came to know about his son’s death the next day,lodged complaints with Hastings Police Station and the State Human Rights Commission.

Jehangir died at the SSKM Hospital on September 21,where he was shifted from jail hospital a day earlier after his condition deteriorated.

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