Kolkata: More than 20 inmates and six jail guards were injured following a clash between the Maoist inmates and the jail staff in Midnapore Central correctional home on Tuesday morning.
Jail sources said that the trouble broke after an inmate, Kailas Das, died inside his cell on Monday. Das, a native of Debra in West Midnapore district, was sentenced to jail for four days and he was supposed to be released on Monday evening. But hours before his release, he complained of chest pain and died inside the jail.
The inmates, especially who were lodged behind bars in connection with Maoist activities, alleged that Das was brutally beaten up by some convicted prisoners in connivance with a section of the jail staff. The Maoist inmates even alleged that some of them sustained injuries when they tried to save Das and demanded proper treatment of the injured inmates outside the jail.
Since the tribal upsurge in Lalgarh, Midnapore central jail is housing large number of Maoist inmates — more than 150 including tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato.
In the past few months, Maoist inmates have staged several agitation programmes inside jails complaining of poor food, lack of drinking water and corruption of the jail staff. Das’s death provoked Maoist inmates again. They threatened to go for an indefinite hunger strike on Monday evening. DIG prison had to visit Midnapore jail to bring the situation under control.
But a fresh trouble broke out on Tuesday morning after a routine roll call. The jail guard Deepak Baidya alleged that soon after the roll call, a gang of 20 Maoist inmates pounced on him and his colleague Tapan Garai. “They rained fists and blows on us,’ said Garai.
Sources said, the problem broke out after two jail staffers abused the agitating inmates over their demands which followed a scuffle. Soon other Maoist inmates joined their comrades. Sensing trouble four jail guards rushed to the spot but were overpowered by the inmates who were more than 25.
When the situation went beyond control, an alarm was raised and additional forces rushed in. After an hour long pitched battle inside the jail, the situation was brought under control. The Maoist inmates claimed that more than 20 of them sustained serious injuries during lathicharge by the jail guards. Six injured jail guards were taken to Midnapore hospital and were discharged after first-aid.