Bilaspur, Mar 27: The inmates of the overcrowded Bilaspur Central Jail clashed with each other here last night, jail sources said today. Many prisoners were injured in the fight, while the jail superintendent and other guards ran for cover to escape the prisoners' fury.
Iron rods, bricks and stones were used by the prisoners, divided into two groups over the issue of the extra facilities, to attack their rivals around 2100 hrs last night, the sources added.
Twenty hardcore naxalites were also lodged in the same jail. About 1900 prisoners were lodged in the jail which could accomodate only 1000 people, they said. The injured were hospitalised, the sources said, adding that about 300 policemen, led by Additional Collector P S Elma and Additional Superintendent of Police Badrinarayan Meena, intervened to control the rioting prisoners.
The jail inmates were agitated over leniency and extra facilities being provided to select prisoners, the sources said.
The immediate provocation was allowing a woman, who was jailed earlier on prostitution charges, to enter the jail during visiting hours yesterday without making any entries. She was seen talking to an ''influential'' prisoner Tukeshwar Singh, provoking the rival faction led by Ranjan Garg.
On the other hand, an associate of Ranjan was caught by the jail guards sending 'Ganja' inside the jail. It was concealed in a talcum powder tin.
The Additional Collector, who reached the jail during the clash, suspended three guards- Budhiyara Singh, Devendra Varma and Daya Prakash- for giving entry to the woman inside the jail without making any entry.
Meanwhile, the Jail Superintendent claimed that the situation was under control in the jail.