A middle-aged Afghan, Afridi Khan, jailed for travelling with forged documents, has turned violent, assaulting warders and trying to commit suicide in Presidency jail in the past few days.
A Presidency jail source said Khan attacked and injured three warders over the past four days. “He also slashed his wrists and throat in an attempt to commit suicide and had to be removed to the jail hospital for treatment of the severe cuts,’’ the source said.
The jail authorities lodged a complaint with Alipore police station and assistant commissioner of police (south division) Kalyan Chatterjee probed the incident. Chatterjee sent his report to city police chief Sujoy Chakraborty on Monday.
The situation in the jail, arising out of Khan’s violent behaviour, was “extremely alarming’’, Chatterjee said in his report. He has sought “immediate intervention” by senior officers. Chatterjee feared that “a delay in taking action to contain Khan’s violent behaviour and his attempt to commit suicide can lead to something serious’’. Inspector-general of prisons Jaydeb Chakraborty said he was looking into the matter.
Deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) K.L. Tamta said Khan was arrested in September 2001 in Asansol for travelling with fake documents. “He was convicted under the Foreigners’ Act and transferred to Presidency jail in June last year,’’ Tamta said.
Deputy commissioner of police (security control) P.K. Chatterjee said the Union home ministry has ordered Khan’s deportation to Afghanistan.
“The superintendent of Presidency jail has written to me with details of Khan’s violent behaviour and his attack on the warders. We have informed Afghan embassy officials in Delhi about his arrest and urged them to expedite his passport, travel documents and tickets to return to Kabul,’’ Chatterjee said. “We are waiting for the documents to arrive,’’ he added.
Khan turned violent in jail and refused food and water since last week. He hurled abuses at the warders and fellow-prisoners in his native language.
According to assistant commissioner Chatterjee’s report, Khan’s first attack on warders took place on Friday. “He suddenly lashed out at the warder and punched him in his face. The warder lost his balance and fell on the floor. Other jail staff present on the spot pulled Khan away,’’ a jail official said. Since then, Khan cannot be restrained and is demanding that he be “released immediately’’, the official added.
“Khan does not understand English or Bengali and can only speak in broken Hindi,’’ according to an officer of the security control wing, who had gone to interrogate Khan in jail on Tuesday.
Investigations revealed that Khan had entered the country on a forged passport and visa. According to the documents seized from him, Khan had come to Calcutta from Delhi by train in the first week of September 2001. “We are still not clear about his intentions. Why did he come to the city and then travel to Asansol'” a senior security control official wondered.