Arun Harsh, Rajan Mahan, NDTV.COM,Monday, January 30, 2006 (Jodhpur):
The death of an under trial at the Jodhpur Jail has sparked off a major row in the state.
The under trial's family claims he was brutally beaten in the jail and officials were negligent in getting him proper medical treatment.
Though jail authorities deny the charge, the government has now ordered a probe into the incident. The Chandel family in Jodhpur is stunned by the tragedy that has suddenly hit them.
25-year-old Mahendra Chandel died under mysterious conditions at the Jodhpur Jail.
On Wednesday night, Mahendra was allegedly beaten by jail guards for demanding a clean place in the barrack. His family says jail officials did nothing to save Mahendra.
"They thrashed my son in the jail. They asked him to clean up the gutter in the jail or give them money," said Shyam Lal, Mahendra's father. "But where could he arrange for money in the jail? Then three jail guards beat him so badly that he finally fainted," Lal added.
While jail authorities deny the charge, the post-mortem report has established several injuries on Mahendra's body. Though it has not established the exact cause of death, the Jodhpur Collector will now probe the death.
"The exact cause of death will be clear only after the detailed viscera report is given. But it's strange why he suddenly felt giddy and complained of severe stomach ache and chest pain," said M R Patel, Additional District Magistrate, Jodhpur.
"Whether he died of some illness or some other factor will be clear only from the viscera report," he added. Two months ago, several prisoners had complained that bribes were being demanded by jail officials to allow them to meet their relatives.
With the state human rights commission demanding a full report on Mahendra's death, it is clear that jail officials will now have a lot to answer.