Arson in Puri Jail; Assistant Jailor and 2 UTP injured

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Puri,May 30 (UNI) Three persons, including the Assistant Jailor of the Puri district jail, were seriously injured in arson triggered by inmates of the jail today.

According to reports the inmates today staged a hunger strike following a last night raid by jail authorities in which police recovered seventeen mobile phones, cigarettes and some cash.

The inmates, including the undertrial prisoners (UTP), began hunger strike boycotting today's lunch in protest against the 'rough behaviour' of the superintendent and demanded his removal.

The jail officials initiated talks with the agitating prisoners to persuade them to end the agitation but in vain.

Suddenly some prisoners started pelting stones and broke open the store of the jail, set fire to the clothes and blankets. Assistant Jailor Prakash Panigrahi and two UTPs sustained serious burn injury in the fire.

Prakash and Ashok Samantray, a UTP, sustained 85 per cent burn injury and were rushed to the district headquarters hospital.They were later shifted to the SCB medical college and hospital at Cuttack as their condition deteriorated.

Another UTP Bharat Swain too was admitted in the hospital with 40 percent burn injury. Jail officials informed the local fire tenders which arrived on the spot and extinguished the blaze.The agitating prisoners tried to resist the use of fire tenders.

The Puri jail has about 470 prisoners, including seven dreaded criminals who were recently booked under the National Security Act (NSA). These prisoners had allegedly instigated others, Jail Superintendent Janmejay Choudhury said.

District Magistrate Rashmiranjan Pattnaik and Superintendent of Police Asit Kumar Panigrahi rushed to the jail along with police force. After hours of discussion the prisoners took food and ended their agitation.

Inspector General (prison) V Thiyagrajan, meanwhile, arrived at the jail and was taking stock of the situation.Kumbharpara police have registered a case in connection with the arson in the jail.

UNI XC-DP KK DB1932

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