Ghatshila subdivisional jail
Jamshedpur, Aug. 5: Two rival factions of undertrials clashed inside Ghatshila subdivisional jail premises in Dalbhumgarh this morning for 15 minutes, but no one was injured as no weapons were used.
The head of the bigger faction, Karan Singh alias Tinku, whose reaction to a barb with fisticuffs started the brawl, has been put in a separate cell following the order of land reforms deputy commissioner Ranjit Kumar, also jail superintendent.
The fight started around 8.30am, when undertrial Md Ehsamuddin alias Kabir hurled an abuse at Tinku and the latter retaliated by thrashing him. Immediately, four or five of Kabir’s supporters and eight of Tinku’s joined the fight.
Security guards brought the fight under control, but senior police and administrative officials were rushed to the subdivisional jail for a spot inspection. Dalbhumgarh and Ghatshila police were also put on alert.
According to jail superintendent Kumar, the tension escalated as supporters of Tinku and Kabir joined in the fray. “After preliminary investigation, I found it was Tinku’s fault, and hence instructed the jail administration to put him in a separate cell so that a situation like this may not recur,” Kumar said, adding the atmosphere returned to normal.
Senior superintendent of police Akhilesh Kumar Jha said the police had been put on alert following the clash. “Though no one was injured and the situation is under control, I have instructed police officers to be on high alert,” Jha told The Telegraph.
Ghatshila subdivisional jail, with a 157 capacity, houses around 200 undertrials. Of these, 26 are facing Naxalite-related cases while the rest are charged with murder, snatching, extortion, abduction, thefts, burglary and others.
Insiders said an ugly battle for supremacy among undertrials has been brewing.
“Tinku is facing five criminal cases, including abduction, attempt-to-murder and extortion. He wants to run a reign of terror. He and his supporters are known to take money from every new inmate. Even visitors to the jail are not spared,” said a source.
Forget fellow prisoners, Tinku had not spared men in uniform. Last month, he wanted jailer Ranjit Singh to pay him Rs 10,000 a month as rangdari (so-called safety tax that criminals demand from people, including policemen).
Singh, who is on leave, admitted he was asked to give Tinku a fixed amount as rangdari and was threatened with dire consequence otherwise. Singh lodged an FIR with Dalbhumgarh police on July 20.
Tinku’s rival Kabir is a key accused in 2010 serial killings of Jamshedpur. He is facing CBI probe related to the Ranjan Bhattacharya missing case.