CHANDIGARH: An inmate of Ludhiana Central Jail was killed and at least a dozen other prisoners and five police personnel, were injured during a clash broke out between two gangs inside the prison. Four prisoners who tried to escape amid the ruckus were apprehended and brought back.
Violence erupted after the news of the death of an inmate, Sunny Sood, at Rajendra Medical College hospital in Patiala, reached the jail. The news triggered rioting inside the jail with the 3,100-odd inmates refusing to go back into the barracks. They started pelting stones and attacking one another with iron rods - which were lying on the premises because of some construction work going on in jail. The police intervened and opened fire in the air to control the situation. Over 40 rounds of gunshots were fired within an hour. It took nearly two hours for the forces to bring the situation under control.
The agitated prisoners set the record room and the car of the jail superintendent on fire and also vandalised the jail property. Several videos of the mayhem were shot on the mobile phones allegedly by the inmates and one of them reportedly even went live on Facebook. “The inmates tried to put the kitchen on fire using the gas cylinders but the attempt was foiled and cylinders recovered,” Pardeep Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, said.
As the inmates tried to break the prison gates, the police had to open fire. The situation was finally brought under control after two hours. The prisoner killed was identified as Ajit Baba. A heavy police force from Ludhiana and neighbouring districts of Khanna and Jagroan was rushed to bring the situation under control and security has been tightened.
Sources said nine inmates and five policemen had to be rushed to a hospital. Unofficial sources, however, claimed more than two dozen other inmates also suffered injuries and were given first aid inside the jail. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that has happened less than a week after a prisoner was killed inside the Nabha jail near Patiala. The security was beefed up after the murder of Mohinder Pal Bittu, the main accused in several sacrilege cases and a follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda outfit. He was allegedly attacked by two jail inmates – Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh – with an iron rod, killing him on the spot.