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FIR against 220 jail inmates in Sitamarhi

An FIR was lodged against 220 inmates of the Sitamarhi divisional jail for their involvement in stone pelting and arson on Saturday night, which led the security personnel to open fire.

Two undertrials were seriously injured in the police firing while five police personnel had suffered head injuries in stone pelting.

Sitamarhi sub-divisional police officer (Sadar) M.N. Upadhayay said on Monday the FIR was lodged with Dumra police station on Sunday on the statement of jail superintendent Avinash Kumar. The investigating officer would interrogate the prisoners to ascertain the reason behind the clashes between the supporters of two influential prisoners — Santosh Kumar Jha and Madhav Choudhary.

Upadhyay, however, described the situation in the jail as tense but under control. The prisoners were sent to the court concerned for their production in respective cases under tight security arrangements and meal was served to them. “We are keeping a close watch on the activities of the prisoners, who had created a scene in the jail on Saturday night in protest against the shifting of Santosh and Madhav to Gaya and Buxar central jails, respectively,” he added.

Incidentally, jail superintendent Avinash was removed from the post for inept handling of the situation. Sitamarhi district magistrate Pratima S. Verma, in her report submitted to the government on Sunday, found serious lapses on the part of the jail officials. She expressed surprise over leak of confidential information about the transfer of the two dreaded criminals to other prisons from the jail.

Verma also expressed her displeasure over construction of a temple on the jail premises without prior permission. She had received complaints from a section of prisoners about sub-standard quality of meal being served to them. “She also raised the issue over non-appointment a regular superintendent at the jail,” said a senior government official posted in Sitamarhi.

Sources said inspector-general (prison directorate and correctional services) Prem Singh Meena along with deputy inspector-general (Tirhut range) A.K. MIshra visited the jail on Monday to take stock of the situation.

Sitamarhi jailer Sanjeev Kumar said 780 prisoners were lodged in the jail.