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Prisoners on rampage after undertrial death

Asansol, Sept. 27: Tension ran high in the special correctional home here following the death of an undertrial early today.

Angry inmates tried to snatch the body of Ananda Bauri, 25, from police when they were taking it to the Asansol Sub-divisional Hospital for post-mortem. Rampaging prisoners ransacked the office of the jail superintendent and damaged police vehicles inside the prison premises.

However, jail superintendent Ranjit Kumar Mandal denied the the incident altogether. “We are not aware of such incidents,” he said.

Sources said the prison guards had to lathicharge the violent inmates as they chanted slogans against the jail administration and the alleged torture of Bauri by the Kulti police.

The youth was arrested from his Kulti residence on Wednesday on charges of having unlicensed arms and being involved in several cases of dacoity over the past few years. He was brought to the home last evening.

“Ananda was treated in the Pithakuri health centre in Kulti soon after his arrest as he complained to the police that he was not feeling well. Since last evening, he was groaning in his cell and complained of pain in his knees. He even pleaded for pain-killers. We shifted him to the jail hospital immediately.

“His condition deteriorated early today. Around 4.30 am, he started having acute stomachache and vomiting blood. The doctors tried hard but he died around 5 am,” the jail superintendent said.

Swapan Sarkar, the victim’s counsel, alleged that the jail authorities were responsible for the death. “We will move the human rights commission and file a suit against the jail authorities,” Sarkar said.

Like the inmates, he alleged that Bauri was beaten up at Kulti police station.

The officer-in-charge at Kulti, Sadhan Banerjee, said Bauri was treated “like other criminals”.

Sarkar alleged that the doctors at the jail hospital were indifferent to Bauri’s condition.

Standing uncertain at the jail gate with her 15-month-old grandson, Mithun, Bauri’s mother Bhulurani said: “My son could have been saved if the doctors treated him properly or they could have removed my son to the sub-divisional hospital.”

“What will I do with this orphan kid now'” she asked, tears running down her cheeks.

However, the superintendent rejected all the allegations. “An executive magistrate will probe the matter” was all that he said.

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