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Since 1st March, 1999
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Jehanabad sees red over jail death

Patna, Dec. 19: Jailed CPI-ML cadre today joined their CPI (Maoist) counterparts in Jehanabad jail in a fast-unto-death to protest the death of “comrade” Nagina Majhi on Saturday night at Beur jail.

While personnel and senior officers were busy dealing with the imprisoned Maoists on a rampage at Beur jail yesterday, some 261 Maoists in Jehanabad had already begun a fast to protest Majhi’s death.

Though officers have described the death as a suicide, Beur rebels allege that the security had murdered Majhi, a “hardcore guerrilla”.

The fasting Jehanabad rebels have asserted that they would not break their fast till the Bihar government conceded the demands of compensation.

Rebels’ demands include action against the jail security who were “responsible for Nagina Majhi’s death”, adequate compensation to the family, government jobs to Majhi’s dependants and an “objective probe” into the circumstances that lead to the death. Today, the CPI-ML cadre, a Naxalite outfit, which stayed underground till 1990s, joined their agitating Maoists counterparts today, taking the total number of the fasting rebels to 328 in Jehanabad jail.

Bihar’s inspector-general (prisons) Sandip Pondrik conceded that the government had ordered a judicial probe into Majhi’s death.

The Jehanabad district officials are now negotiating with the agitating prisoners to withdraw their fast-unto-death, he added.

Pondrik also admitted that the prison administration have identified 30 inmates who caused trouble in Beur central jail yesterday.

“The administration would lodge appropriate cases against them for violating prison rules,” he stressed.

Talking to The Telegraph, Pondrik said the security around and in the Beur central jail has been beefed up further.

He ruled out possibilities of a repeat of yesterday’s revolt, stressing that Bihar’s 56 jails were now under “heightened vigil”.

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