CHANDIGARH: An inmate of Ludhiana Central Jail was killed and over a dozen people, including five police personnel, were injured when a clash erupted between two gangs inside the prison, forcing the police to open fire. Four prisoners tried to escape amid commotion but were apprehended and brought back.
The violence broke out around 11.30 am after the news of the death of an undertrial Sunny Sood, an accused in a narcotics case, in a Patiala hospital reached the jail.
The news triggered rioting inside the jail with the 3,100-odd inmates refusing to go back into the barracks. They started pelting stones and attacking one another with iron rods — which were lying on the premises as some construction work is going in jail. They also set on fire the record room and the jail superintendent’s car and vandalised the jail property. Some of them started making videos of the clash on their mobiles and uploading them on social media.
“The inmates tried to put the kitchen on fire using the gas cylinders but the attempt was foiled and cylinders recovered,” Pardeep Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, said. As the inmates tried to break the prison gates, the police had to open fire. The situation was finally brought under control at around 1.30 pm. The prisoner killed was identified as Ajit Baba. A heavy police force from Ludhiana and neighbouring districts of Khanna and Jagroan was rushed to bring the situation under control and security has been tightened.
Sources said nine inmates and five policemen had to be rushed to a hospital. Unofficial sources, however, claimed more than two dozen other inmates also suffered injuries and were given first aid inside the jail.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that has happened less than a week after a prisoner was killed inside the Nabha jail near Patiala. The Union Home Ministry has agreed to the deployment of the CRPF in three high-security jails of Punjab —Amritsar, Ludhiana and Bathinda.