THE Uttar Pradesh prisons department on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into a video on social media that allegedly shows five undertrials being hit with belts inside the office of Hamirpur district jail’s superintendent. The video also purportedly shows a group of dancers performing on jail premises.
IG (Prisons) Chandra Prakash said DIG, Jail (Allahabad) BR Verma has been directed to probe the video, which appeared on social media Monday. “Action will be taken on the basis of the inquiry report,” he added.
On Tuesday, Verma visited Hamirpur jail and recorded statements of prisoners and jail staff. “The two persons seen thrashing five undertrials have been identified as convicts Adarsh Kumar and Uday Bhan, who are facing life imprisonment. Adarsh and Uday Bhan confessed to having beaten up the five undertrials with a belt around a month ago on the directions of jail doctor Vikram Singh,” said Verma.
He added, “Adarsh and Uday Bhan are seen thrashing the undertrials inside the office of jail superintendent HB Singh. Both could not recall the date, but claimed it was around 4 pm and the superintendent was not present. Adarsh also claimed that Dr Vikram Singh had asked them to thrash the five undertrials as the latter had hurled abuses at him.”
“Among the five undertrials who were beaten up, only Ram Babu and Akhilesh Verma are still in jail. Ram Babu and Akhilesh said they were beaten up by Adarsh and Uday Bhan on directions of Dr Singh. Ram Babu even claimed that the video was shot by Dr Singh,” added Verma.
Dr Singh denied the allegations and claimed he was not aware of the incident, the DIG said.
The prisoners, superintendent, jailor and other staff were also questioned regarding another part of the same video allegedly showing dancers performing inside the prison. “It was found that it was part of a cultural programme inside the jail on January 26 where male prisoners performed wearing sarees,” said Verma, adding that they are yet to ascertain who shot the video and circulated it.