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Convict death woe for officer

Patna, Dec. 3: Honesty does not pay all the time.

A senior deputy collector posted in Vaishali district learnt it the hard way. The officer, Abhiram Trivedi, has apprehended that he may be victimised at the hands of his boss to cover up the latterís lapses in handling the law and order problem in the Hajipur divisional jail in October this year.

The death of a convict, Ram Balak Rai, under mysterious circumstances on October 20, 2013, led to chaos at the jail. Violent clashes broke out between two groups of prisoners in which at least three inmates suffered injuries.

As the incident overtook caste colour, chief minister Nitish Kumar ordered a high-level probe. Inspector-general (prisons and correctional services) Anand Kishor inspected the jail the next day and submitted a report to the government, recommending disciplinary action against some senior jail officials.

The incident took a twist after the senior deputy collector Abhiram Trivediís wife, Amrita Roy, submitted a petition at the chief ministerís janata darbar last week, demanding a probe into the role of Vaishali district magistrate (DM) Jitendra Srivastava in handling the law and order problem arising out of Raiís murder in judicial custody.

The petition alleged that her husband, a Bihar Administrative Service Association (BASA) officer, was given additional charge of the jail superintendent by the district magistrate in spite of the formerís reluctance.

ďDM Srivastava assigned my husband to file a letters patent appeals in the high court instead of dealing with the situation on the jail premises on the fateful day,Ē she alleged in the petition. She added that the inmates got agitated after they came to know that Rai had been killed in the ward.

The DM had told the media that night that Rai had been murdered citing the post-mortem report. However, the jail superintendent (in-charge) was apprised of the incident on October 21 morning, the petition said.

The victimís body was taken out from the prisonersí ward without the superintendentís permission. The superintendent had expressed his displeasure over the matter with the assistant jailor. The body was sent to the sadar hospital for post-mortem after completing formalities the same night, the petition added.

Vaishali DM Srivastava told The Telegraph: ďThis is a serious issue and I would not like to discuss it on the phone right now.Ē The BASA has warned to take up the matter with higher-ups if any coercive action was taken against the senior deputy collector.