//8 injured in clash in Tihar Jail over sleeping space

8 injured in clash in Tihar Jail over sleeping space

New Delhi Eight prisoners were injured as rival groups clashed inside Tihar Jail on Sunday morning. The inmates reportedly used blades, iron strips and pipes. According to the police, the fight was over the sharing of corner space for sleeping in the barracks. The injured had to be taken to hospital.

According to the police, four inmates — Manish, Mobinuddin, Nazim and Mohammad Mehfuz, all lodged in jail number 1 (ward 2) in robbery cases — first attacked another prisoner, Rashid, around 6.30 am.

“Rashid was sleeping. He is a sewadar, appointed by the jail authorities, and has been given the responsibility of allocating sleeping space in the barracks,” said an officer.

While Rashid is in the jail in connection with a murder case, Mehfuz is a convict while the other three are undertrials. They were shifted to this barrack only on Saturday.

“We usually don’t keep prisoners in one barrack for a long time. Rashid had reportedly attacked Mehfuz a few days ago,” said Sunil Gupta, the public relations officer of Tihar Jail.

As Rashid started bleeding, Gupta said, the accused realised that they would be booked for the offence and inflicted injuries on themselves.

Sources, however, said Manish and the three others sustained injuries when they were attacked by Rashid’s friends as they were being shifted to the Special Security ward (number 7) after the fight.

“Around 10.30 am, we were shifting them to another ward when Rashid’s friends attacked the four,” said a jail official who did not wish to be named.

The official named the accused as Bhupinder, a convict, Sachin and Irfaz, both undertrials. Manish, Mobinuddin, Mehfuz and Nazim were taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital from where they were discharged in the afternoon.

Around 15 days ago, sources said, Rashid had informed the jail superintendent that Manish and his gang members could attack him.

Gupta said Tihar authorities were conducting an inquiry into the incident and CCTV footage was being analysed.

“Such incidents take place between rival groups who try to prove their superiority over each other,” said an officer. After the clash, Manish and his gang members have been shifted to a high-security ward (number 2) while Rashid and his group were sent to the Special Security ward.

Both the groups have filed counter complaints at the Hari Nagar police station. The police are in the process of recording their statements and are waiting for the medical reports to register a case.

On April 3, an undertrial, Vijay Singh, was attacked. Vijay is known as a “bladebaaz” in Tihar.

Insas rifles for jail security staff

Tihar Jail is upgrading its armoury to secure Asia’s biggest prison. It houses nearly 12,000 inmates. For the first time, sophisticated Insas rifles are being given to the security staff deployed at 10 jails in

Tihar and in Rohini. Tihar has already placed an order for 100 Insas rifles.

“Insas is considered to be the first successful Indian rifle. It is modern and easy to use. The Indian Army and paramilitary forces use it. We have decided to include Insas in our

armoury so that our staff can be equipped with sophisticated weapons in times of emergency,” said a senior Tihar official. According to him, they would soon receive the consignment of 100 rifles. Tihar has its own cadre of ‘Jail Security Staff’ of around 1,200 officers who will use these modern rifles.

On March 16, the Delhi government cleared a proposal to post a TSP (Tamil Nadu Special Police) battalion inside Tihar. At present, the TSP secures the jail from outside. Besides, there is a company each of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on guard. —

NEERAJ CHAUHAN, Express News Service, Apr 06, 2009