It was while construction work of a ward at Tihar Jail was going on two months ago that a 21-year-old undertrial picked up a “metal strip” and allegedly stabbed another undertrial to death on the morning of June 29.
The undertrial, who has been in jail for murder for two years, allegedly stabbed Mehtab, lodged in Tihar since 2014 in a rape case, “at least five-six times on the neck on June 29 morning,” said Delhi Prisons DG Sandeep Goel. Mehtab died at DDU hospital. A source at Tihar said, “The man sharpened the metal strip, hid it near window grills, and sometimes under his clothes.” Goel said the “weapon”, with a handle made out of cloth, was recovered. The incident took place in ward 4. DCP (West) Deepak Purohit said, “Mehtab was accused of raping the undertrial’s minor sister, who reportedly later committed suicide.” Police said Mehtab was arrested in the case and the murder appears to be a “revenge killing”.
Around four-five months ago, the undertrial and Mehtab were lodged in jail no. 8, but in different wards. Police said he began planning the murder around two months ago, and tried to get a transfer from his ward to Mehtab’s. A senior police officer said, “When the accused came to Tihar, he knew Mehtab was also there. He was trying to get near him but was scared he wouldn’t be able to execute his plans. After the lockdown, when a lot of inmates left to decongest the jail, he noticed some inmates got an easy transfer. He then hatched a plan and picked up a fight with two men in his ward and requested a transfer.” DCP Purohit said a “transfer to ward 4 was done. Soon, the accused was shifted to the ward’s ground floor while Mehtab was on the first floor”. Police claimed the undertrial would follow Mehtab to understand his routine. On June 29 after prayers, when the first floor was relatively empty, he found Mehtab returning to his cell and allegedly stabbed him. Police are also probing negligence of jail staff and the transfer done two months ago. DG Goel said staffers and inmates had “no inkling of his intentions”.
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