Two inmates injured as clashes break out in Srinagar Central Jail
Govt orders probe, registers FIR
Srinagar: Intense lashes 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. Following the violence the government has ordered a probe into the incident.
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 melee that followed left two jail inmates injured.
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.
The situation has been brought under control, the official said.
A spokesman of the government said that the inmates at Central jail not only damaged the public property including vital infrastructure and surveillance equipment while attempting to break-open the jail gates.
He said that soon after the incident was reported last evening a team of officers including Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Police Officer and SHOs was rushed to spot by the authorities in Srinagar.
“The situation turned volatile as the inmates used inflammables to attack and damage the security grid of the central jail. More than 400 inmates from 10 barracks in the central area of jail broke open the internal gates and gathered to carry out damage to the entry and exit points in an attempt to escape. Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, ShahidIqbalChoudhary and Sr Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal rushed to the spot and reviewed the situation,” the official said.
“The inmates gathered LPG cylinders from the common mess and triggered 4 blasts near the gate and corners of walls in an apparent attempt to break the security grid and escape. Massive stone pelting was resorted to as the construction material dumped inside jail for ongoing works was grabbed and used by the inmates to target the officers, security personnel and vehicles outside,” the official said.
He said that fire tenders were pressed into action to contain the fire and disperse the crowd. The violent attacks from inside continued for the whole night while senior officers camped there to contain the situation. Despite announcements made on the loudspeakers the inmates didn’t relent, the official added.
He said that on early morning Friday, the authorities constituted a dozen odd teams to move inside which included police, CRPF, jail staff and magistrates. However, after several hours of intervention the violent mob didn’t return to barracks and massive damage was inflicted to the infrastructure.
Later, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar ShahidIqbalChoudhary held detailed deliberations with the representatives of inmates over a host of issues, in presence of DIG Central Kashmir, DIG CRPF, SSP Srinagar and other senior officers, the official added.
He said that the inmates were given to understand that no issues could be heard and redressed in backdrop of such a massive violence and attacks which had the potential of leading to fatalities, and conducive atmosphere was required to ascertain the factors involved in violence of this exceptional nature. The DC asked the inmates to move to into barracks.
After detailed deliberations the inmates were moved to barracks and discussion held with all concerned. In view of massive damages to Government property an inter-departmental team comprised of PWD, PHE and PDD was deputed by the district administration for loss assessment and restoration work, the official said.
“The incident was triggered when the inmates resisted the move of jail administration for restoration of barracks which have been damaged over a period of time,” he added.
The spokesperson stated that some pictures were being circulated in social media indicating an alleged desecration inside central jail however, during the entire night no security personnel or officials, moved inside the barrack premises and all the issues raised by the inmates are being ascertained.
The spokesman said that a probe is being conducted into the matter by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar who interacted with inmates at Central Jail. The DDC also inspected the damages done to jail infrastructure, apart from ascertain the sequel of events leading to this incident.
Meanwhile, police have lodged an FIR into the incident.
Notably, internet services were snapped in Srinagar city while the speed has been reduced in south Kashmir while law enforcing personnel have been deployed in strength in old city areas as a precautionary measure.
Locals said that forces laid several check points in various city areas and did not allow the people to move freely.