Other States

Koda goes on fast, demands better food for prisoners

Madhu Koda, former Jharkhand Chief Minister, being taken to a hospital after he was allegedly beaten by a constable at Birsa Munda Central Jail, in Ranchi on Monday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury

Madhu Koda, former Jharkhand Chief Minister, being taken to a hospital after he was allegedly beaten by a constable at Birsa Munda Central Jail, in Ranchi on Monday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury  

Jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda on Tuesday went on a fast demanding better food for prisoners and filed a police complaint into the assault on him in the high-security central jail in Ranchi.

Last night, his wife Gita handed over the complaint to the Sadar police station charging the authorities of Birsa Munda Central Jail with the assault during the day, a police official said.

Mr. Koda, who was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences on Monday where an X-ray ascertained fracture in his right hand, would remain under observation for a few days, its director Tuli Mahto said.

He also went on fast demanding judicial inquiry into yesterday’s incident and better food for prisoners.

When Assembly Speaker C. P. Singh went to inquire his health, the former chief minister told him in the presence of the media, “I have not eaten since yesterday. I will end my fast after authorities accept my demand for a judicial inquiry into yesterday’s incident and assure better food for general prisoners.”

He claimed about 30 prisoners, including former Cabinet colleagues Enos Ekka and Harinaryan Rai were also continuing a dharna inside the jail. Showing Mr. Singh a thick scar across his chest, he claimed he was beaten up with batons by jail guards.

“Being the Speaker, I bring to your notice the poor quality of rice and watery dal served to prisoners of the general ward,” he said.

The district administration and jail officials have denied the allegations.

Asked whether prisoners were still on fast as claimed by Mr. Koda, an official said Jail Superintendent Dilip Pradhan had instructed them not to speak to the media. Mr. Pradhan’s mobile was inaccessible.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:40:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/koda-goes-on-fast-demands-better-food-for-prisoners/article2589005.ece

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