An inmate of Katihar jail, who had suffered critical injuries in a gang war behind bars, died in the small hours on Sunday.
The deceased has been identified as Mohammad Shamim (32) of Pirganj village, about 340km northeast of Patna. He was an accused in several cases, including contract killing, road robbery, murder and others and was lodged in the Katihar district jail for past two years.
Two groups, one led by by Kundan Mishra, an inmate, and the other led by Rakesh Yadav, began fighting in the battle of supremacy soon after the gates of jail rooms were unlocked early on Saturday morning. In the clash, five inmates sustained injuries, while Shamim, who was from Rakesh’s side, received severe blows and died during treatment at Bhagalpur Sadar hospital on Sunday.
Other injured inmates are under treatment at Katihar Sadar hospital. Yadav and Mishra are hardcore criminals carrying the charges of murders, loot, kidnapping, road robbery and others.
Katihar district jail superintendent Bidu Bhardwaj said: “Shamim, who was an accused of murder, contract killing, robbery and others, was lodged here for the past two years carrying 12 cases on his head. He was a staunch supporter of Rakesh. Hardly could we think about such clashes that injured five persons at this jail. For the first time such an incident took place.” Bhardwaj said: “There was a tussle between two groups, one headed by Rakesh Yadav and the other led by Kundan Mishra. They fought on some contracts what they had outside the jail that we were not aware of. Each group wanted to grab the contract, as a result of which they battled each other injuring five. Unfortunately, Shamim died.”
The cases of murder, loot, contract killing, robbery and kidnapping against Shamim are lodged in Azamnagar police station of the district.
Jail officials were not alert, considering that violence does not take place within the prison. “How and why did the violence take place was not known to prison officials? It is administrative failure. He was arrested in alleged cases, as the court is yet to deliver justice. Her was not supposed to be killed at prison as it is not the place of a gang war. He is sent to jail to stay till justice is delivered but if he is killed, the jail administration must take responsibility,” said a relative of Shamim.
Katihar district magistrate Prakash Kumar admitted that it is the failure of the jail administration because an inmate died in a clash within the jail. “We have constituted a three-member committee led by additional superintendent of police Ashok Kumar Jha that will investigate the matter and submit the report within a week. Before the probe is complete, it is difficult to comment on what administrative mistake led to the violence,” Prakash said.