People bringing food or beverages for inmates at any jail in Jharkhand will have to taste the stuff before it is passed on. This is to preclude any possibility of the prisoners consuming poisonous substances slipped in.
The state jail authority issued this decree on Tuesday after a ‘visitor’ had supplied a poisonous cold drink to seven inmates at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail, resulting in three deaths on Monday.
The jail authority’s order further debars prisoners from sharing food with other inmates.
The Birsa Munda Central Jail administration has stopped for a week all supplies of food from outside.
A committee has been set up to probe the incident and submit a report in seven days.
The jail houses former chief minister Madhu Koda and his associates, who are facing money-laundering charges.
Dining rooms under CCTV cameras are being created inside jails for inmates to have food supplied from outside.
“The circular has been issued to all jails and the authorities have been asked to strictly comply with it,” said inspector general (jail) Vijay Singh.
“Proper checks and tasting will help the jail authorities to identify and finally stop the entry of items that are prohibited,” Singh added.
Apart from the three deaths, four others fell ill and they have been admitted to the government-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
The culprit’s objective was ostensibly to kill an inmate called Sandip Thapa, who escaped by not consuming the offending Coke and eating just the snacks that came with the cold drink.