The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decided to conduct its own investigations into the murder of a prisoner in a Bhanjanagar jail of Odisha allegedly due to a shootout among the jail inmates.

Taking up an application seeking compensation to the deceased prisoner’s family, the NHRC has entrusted its own director general (DG) of investigation wing to conduct an enquiry into it and submit the report to the Commission within eight weeks.

India Media Centre, a Puri-based NGO had approached the NHRC stating that the prisoner was murdered inside the jail premises when two other inmates fired at him.

“Shootout inside a jail speaks volumes about the poor law and order in the State and due to sheer negligence of the jail authorities, the prisoner was shot dead”, said the petitioner advocate Nishikant Mishra and sought at least Rs. 5 lakh as damage to the family of the deceased.

It may be recalled here that murder convict Dhaneswar Swain alias Kalia was shot dead by two other inmates of Bhanjanagar sub-jail after procuring a gun from outside. After firing at Kalia, the offenders—Bapi Mishra and Manoj Pradhan escaped from the prison.

They were however, apprehended soon by the local police.

In the meantime, the State government has put under suspensions three staff of the jail for dereliction of duties after it was revealed that three visitors had met Mishra and Pradhan during the visiting hours in jail and had handed over a sophisticated pistol to them.