Inmates climb atop building; threaten to commit suicide

A section of the prisoners lodged in the Coimbatore Central Prison on Sunday staged a protest within the prison complex accusing the prison staff of highhanded approach.

According to sources, the trouble started in a special block for detenus with Goondas detainee Santhosh complaining of fever and requesting treatment.

When Santhosh, lodged in the prison only a month ago, made a representation to a prison staff member, he was reportedly abused.

To the staff’s behaviour, fellow prisoners Velusamy, an under trial prisoner, and detainees Thangaraj and Senthil, took strong exception, climbed to the block’s terrace and threatened to commit suicide.

Senior prison officials intervened, pacified the four and asked them to abort the attempt. As the prisoners came down, the prison staff reportedly assaulted the four.

They were reported to have broken Santhosh’s hands, sources said and added that after thrashing the prisoners, the officials lodged them in separate cells.

Other prisoners in the block who got wind of the problem, climbed the roof and threatened to commit suicide. The prisoners continued their protest till late in the evening.

Efforts by The Hindu to reach the Prison Superintendent proved futile.

The City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan said that he had asked three of his police officers – a Deputy Commissioner of Police and two Assistant Commissioners of Police – to rush to the prison to sort out the problem.

He said that only 13 prisoners were protesting and that the police were hopeful of solving the problem at the earliest.

Late at night, following assurances by officials, the prisoners gave up the protest.

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