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Central Jail violence; DC Srinagar to conduct probe

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“Situation under control; FIR lodged into the incident”

Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: Clashes broke out between inmates and the staff at Central Jail Srinagar as prisoners went on a rampage against the move to shift them within the prison facility for renovation of some barracks, police said on Friday.

Trouble started Thursday night in Central Jail as the inmates resisted the prison authorities’ move to shift them from two barracks so that these could be renovated.

The inmates apprehended that they would be shifted to jails outside the valley, a police official said.

He said the inmates went on a rampage setting on fire gas cylinders and vandalising jail property. At least two barracks and jail mess were set on fire.

Authorities, however, on Friday said that the situation at the Srinagar central jail has been brought under control.

“After an overnight violence by inmates inflicting serious damages to infrastructure, the situation at the Srinagar Central Jail was Friday brought under control,” said an official handout.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who has been tasked with conducting probe into the incident had detailed deliberations with representatives of inmates discussing a host of issues raised by the latter, it said.

DIG Central Kashmir, DIG CRPF, SSP Srinagar and other senior officers were also part of the visiting team holding deliberations.

“The situation was brought under control and the inmates moved back into the barracks soon after the deliberations,” it said.

Giving details of the incident which occurred Thursday evening, it said around 400 inmates from 10 barracks gathered and mob-attacked the jail premises damaging property including vital infrastructure and surveillance equipment in an attempt to break open the jail gates.

“The situation turned volatile after the inmates used inflammables including LPG cylinders from the common mess triggering four blasts near the gate and wall corners to attack and damage the security grid of the jail in an attempt to escape,” said the handout.

It said that the inmates resorted to “massive” stone-pelting by using the construction material dumped inside the jail for ongoing work.

“A team of officers comprising Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Police Officer and SHOs was rushed to the Jail immediately after receipt of information from the Jail Superintendent at 2100 Hrs,” said the handout.

The DC along with SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal also rushed to the spot and reviewed the situation at 2230 Hrs.

Early Friday morning, about one dozen teams comprising police personnel, CRPF component, jail staff and magistrates were constituted to go inside the jail premises in efforts to contain the situation.

“In view of massive damages to the government property, an inter-departmental team comprising PWD, PHE and PDD has been deputed by the district administration for loss assessment and restoration work,” it said.

“Sequel of events leading to this incident is being ascertained as part of the probe initiated into the incident. Pictures being circulated in the social media indicating an alleged desecration inside the jail are also being verified as part of the probe,” it added.

He said the police have lodged an FIR into the incident.

Meanwhile, internet services were snapped in Srinagar city while the speed was reduced in south Kashmir while law enforcing personnel were deployed in strength in old city areas as a precautionary measure.

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