| Relatives of prisoners stage a demonstration in front of Kendrapara jail. Telegraph picture |
Kendrapara, May 11: Tension is brewing on the Kendrapara jail premises as nearly 200 inmates today launched an indefinite hunger strike to protest against substandard food being served to them and ill treatment by the prison officials. The inmates also said that were being beaten up in contravention of the jail manual.
Prisoners today skipped their meals and efforts by senior police officers to placate them failed. Relatives of the prisoners later staged a demonstration in front of the jail entrance alleging “highhandedness” by officials in denying them and lawyers permission to meet the inmates.
“The prisoners have alleged they were being served poor quality food and that the jail officials were beating them. But the jail officials have denied the charges,” said Nrusingha Charan Swain, sub-divisional police officer.
The jail inmates have complained that the food being served to them was worm-infested and prepared in unhygienic conditions. They said they were being denied safe drinking water and that the jail had turned into a “torture chamber” with prison staff beating up the inmates for no reason.
“The launch of the hunger strike is the handiwork of some hardened criminals lodged in the jail. They have tried to bring in indiscipline on several occasions. But strict jail officials have stopped them. This had made them angry. Today’s agitation was stage-managed by them,” said jail superintendent Samir Ranjan Sahu.