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Brawl in Tihar Jail leaves eight inmates injured

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After the fight: A prisoner, injured in a brawl inside the Tihar jail, waiting for treatment at a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday.
After the fight: A prisoner, injured in a brawl inside the Tihar jail, waiting for treatment at a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday.

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A brawl over vantage space between two groups in a barrack inside the high security Tihar Central Jail here on Sunday left at least eight inmates injured.

It all began around 6-30 a.m. when an under-trial, Rasheed, was attacked by Mohammad Mehfooz, a convict and sewadar of Ward No. II in Jail No.1, and three under-trials Nazim, Mobinuddin and Manish. They inflicted injuries on Rasheed with blades made of steel plates.

An injured Rasheed ran towards the control room and hid himself. The assailants then allegedly inflicted injuries on themselves to create an alibi. The injured were taken to the jail dispensary from where they were referred to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital.

Mehfooz, Mobinuddin and Manish were brought back later. Around 10-30 a.m., when they were being taken to the special security ward of the jail they were allegedly attacked by under-trials Bhupender, Sachin and Ifraz. The jail superintendent rushed to the spot to separate the warring groups. In all, eight inmates sustained injuries.

It did not end there. Another scuffle broke out when the injured inmates were taken to DDU Hospital and the jail staff had to intervene. “The inmates were medically examined and cross cases registered for their involvement in the fights,” said a jail official, adding that the inmates have now been kept in different cells to prevent any further outbreak of violence.

For corner space

Preliminary investigations revealed that the incident was the fall-out of a quarrel on Saturday morning when Rasheed, Muqeem and one of their accomplices assaulted Mehfooz. They also had a heated exchange of words in the night.

“The fights between the inmates were for grabbing corner spaces in barrack No. 2. The corner space is considered comfortable for sleeping by the inmates,” said the official.

Tihar Jail spokesperson Sunil Gupta said: “All the injured inmates have been discharged from hospital and brought back. The jail superintendent has initiated an inquiry into the incident.”

The incident is linked to over-crowding in Tihar Jail. “The sanctioned strength in the 10 jails is 6,250. But over 11,700 inmates are presently lodged in the jails. About 82 per cent of them are under-trials. We have noticed that the convicts usually abide by prison rules, but there is too much of lawlessness among under-trial prisoners. When taken to courts for appearances, such prisoners meet their accomplices, get money from them and even try to smuggle narcotics into the jail by concealing them in their bodies,” said another jail official.

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