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Crackdown on 'luxurious' UP jails; 5 dead
Polly Wilson in Lucknow | June 25, 2007 20:27 IST
Last Updated: June 26, 2007 01:18 IST
A violent clash followed by prolonged pitched battle between cops and inmates left five dead in Sultanpur district jail in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.
Simultaneous raids on different jails across the length and breadth of Uttar Pradesh made shocking revelations.
The raids were ordered by the Mayawati government that issued directives to all district magistrates and district police superintendents to carry out surprise raids in each of the 60 jails spread across the state.
No sooner than a batch of security personnel entered a particular barrack, they were attacked with rods, bricks, belts and anything else that the inmates could lay their hands on.
While one prisoner and jail guard were killed in the clash, two others prisoners and another jail guard succumbed to their injuries in a hospital in Lucknow, sources said.
The jail superintendent, who had assumed charge only a few weeks back, was also injured along with two other personnel.
Pitched battle continued between the two sides for more than an hour until armed policemen arrived on the scene and brought the situation under control.
"You name the luxury and you would find it in quite a few jails of UP," he remarked.
"Yes, we have found that everything -- even blue films were being made available to influential and moneyed undertrials -- for a price," said the official.
The jails raided so far were in Lucknow, Sultanpur, Kanpur, Etawah, Varanasi, Faizabad, Meerut, Mirzapur, Ghaziabad and some of their adjoining districts. More districts were to follow over the coming days.
The raiding teams had recovered prohibited material in 23 of the state's 60 jails.
What left the authorities dumbstruck was the presence of contraband material in the Lucknow district jail that is regarded as the most well administered of all UP prisons.While a detailed report of the raids together with recoveries made was being prepared, the government is all set to take stern action against the functionaries including some senior jail officials.