Chaos in Pulwama jail: Prisoners beaten up, tear gas shelling, DGP orders enquiry

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During the intervening night of 8 and 9 April, special jail in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district witnessed huge chaos after few prisoners were beaten for possessing cell phones.

Reports reaching a local news agency, Kashmir Dot Com (KDC), said that after snatching the cell phones of two prisoners, the policemen inside went on a spree to beat the prisoners.

According to sources, as soon the news spread among other prisoners they went up in anguish and anger against the jail authorities and pelted stones.

Inmates at the prison went on to damage jail property to which police retaliated by tear gases to control the situation, this also led to the partial damage of few barracks, privy sources told KDC.

A senior official told News Agency KDC, after this chaos, Director General of Police, Prisons, J-K-V.K Singh, on Friday visited Special Jail Pulwama to take stock of damages caused by the prisoners during rioting/arson on the intervening night of 8 and 9 April. He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, Baseer-ul-Haq Chaudhary, DIG Prisons, J-K, Dr. M. S. Lone, Superintendent of Police Pulwama, Ashish Kumar Mishra, I/C Assistant Commandant CRPF Satish Kumar besides engineers from the technical wing of Prisons Department, J&K.

Prisons Department Jammu and Kashmir in a statement said “As per preliminary verification, on the night intervening April 8/9, some suspicious activity was reported in one barrack by watch and ward staff following which the barrack was opened to conduct security check. Suddenly, the inmates resorted to violence and in the course of violence they pelted stones and damaged some buildings, security lights, CCTV cameras, etc. On request of the Superintendent, Special Jail Pulwama- Tehsildar Pulwama & local Police Station took cognizance & rushed to the spot. SP, Pulwama, Ashish Kumar Mishra, along with other officers & Fire & Emergency team also responded quickly and reached the spot on being sounded by the Superintendent Jail. Due to the guided and controlled intervention, the situation was brought under control. Some inmates even tried to escape, however, the attempt was foiled by the security personnel.”

Meanwhile, the Director-General Prisons has ordered an enquiry into various aspects including the reason behind the incident and the extent of damages caused to the prison property. He has also constituted a committee to conduct a safety audit of the jail in view of the riot/arson. Besides, a case has been registered by the Police and an investigation is underway.

DGP, Prisons passed directions for exercising strict vigil and ensuring security/custody of prisoners in accordance with the provisions of Manual for Superintendence and management of jails in J-K. DGP Prisons appreciated the efforts of police/civil administration in bringing the situation under control, read the statement from the prisons’ department. (KDC)

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