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Jailed Koda files complaint against assault, bad food

Source: PTI
Last updated on: November 01, 2011 17:49 IST
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Jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda on Tuesday refused to eat till demands of prisoners for proper food were looked into and filed a police complaint that he suffered fracture in his hand when he was assaulted in the high-security jail in Ranchi.

His MLA wife Gita handed over the complaint to the Sadar police station around 10.30 pm on Monday night charging jail authorities with the assault, a police official said.

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

He also went on a fast demanding a judicial inquiry into Monday's incident and better food for prisoners.

When Jharkhand 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 the fast after authorities accept the demand for a judicial inquiry into yesterday's incident and assure better food for general prisoners."

Koda said about 30 prisoners, including his former Cabinet colleagues Enos Ekka and Harinaryan Rai, were also continuing a dharna inside the Birsa Munda Central Jail.

Showing 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 daal served to prisoners of the general ward," he said.

Asked what he was doing in the general ward, Koda said, "As a representative of the people, it is my duty to demand better quality food and other benefits for them under the jail manual."

The district administration and jail officials have denied the allegations.

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

Earlier, Gita alleged that the district administration was trying to hush up the matter.

The district administration and prison officials claimed Koda was injured when other prisoners assaulted him following a dispute over the quality of food.

Koda is in judicial custody since November 30, 2009 in connection with a multi-crore scam unearthed during his

 23-month tenure as chief minister between 2006 and 2008.

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