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Coronavirus | Father-son jail inmates infect 21 in Madhya Pradesh

People collect foodgrains in Bhopal. Photo used for representation purpose only. File

People collect foodgrains in Bhopal. Photo used for representation purpose only. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

An IPS officer is among those who contracted the illness

A father-son duo arrested for allegedly attacking a police constable on lockdown enforcement duty have infected at least 21 persons, including 18 other inmates of the Indore Central Jail, with COVID-19. Two jail guards and an IPS officer have also contracted the illness from them.

Nasir Khan was arrested on April 7 for the assault along with his son Javed Khan. Nasir Khan was initially kept in the same barracks as the other inmates at the Central Jail, said Akash Tripathi, Indore Divisional Commissioner. The government had invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Javed and three others, and he was sent to the Jabalpur jail with another accused.

Only on April 10, when his son tested positive in Jabalpur, was Nasir tested in Indore. When his result came back positive, the 125 inmates in the barracks were moved into a hostel-turned-quarantine centre, said an official of the Jail Department.

Although the six arrested for the attack on the constable come from a COVID-19 hotspot, they were huddled up in the jail without being tested for the illness, said an official, of Indore’s COVID-19 combat team, requesting anonymity.

Four of the infected inmates were admitted to the MRTB hospital, while the others were lodged at the quarantine centre, guarded by the police, in the Asrawad Khurd area. “Three of them are asymptomatic,” said Mr. Tripathi. Two guards who had handled the father also tested positive.

A few days ago, Javed pulled off a dramatic escape from a government-run hospital in Jabalpur while undergoing treatment for the illness. He took a lift on a truck to Narsinghpur district and tried to ride back on a motorcycle to Indore.

A police team arrested him at a checkpost. Personnel who had come in contact with him, including a 2017-batch IPS officer, went into quarantine. The officer tested positive later.

“Invoking the NSA against them was perhaps right, but immediately putting them in jail, just to show an exemplary action, was negligent,” said the official. He claimed the decision imported the virus into the jail, virtually an isolation centre, which has hundreds of inmates.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 6:50:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-father-son-jail-inmates-infect-21-in-madhya-pradesh/article31456993.ece

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